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Prairie Fire .Distributing CommlUec 

July, 1974 

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This edition is a copy of the original which was 
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May 9, 1974 

Sisters and brothers, 

Here is PRAIRIE FIRE, our political ideology —a strategy for 
anti-imperialism and revolution inside the imperial US. It comes out of our 
own practice of the last five years and reflects a diversity of experiences. 
This paper is not the product of one or two people, nor even a small handful 
of us. Rather PRAIRIE FIRE represents the politics and collective efforts of 
an organization. It has been the focus of our study groups and our political 
education. It has been chewed on and shaped in countless conversations, 
struggles and written pages. It has travelled around the country, growing, 
developing thru the attempt to understand the shape of world forces and the 
revolutionary possibilities before us. The paper was rewritten four times and 
collectively adopted as the political statement of the Weather Underground. 
The twelve-month process of writing PRAIRIE FIRE, squeezed between 
on-going work and practice and action, has now reached a kind of end-point. 
A cycle is done. 

We undertook this analysis to explain the changes in US and world 
conditions since the Vietnam ceasefire and to evaluate the consequences of 
the Vietnamese victory. W r e have come some distance in evaluating the 
political situation, the priorities for revolutionary work since we began this 
writing. Now many more revolutionaries will need to shape and change the 
paper. The politics cannot be realized unless and until the content of the 
program is activated in thousands of situations, among thousands of people 
in the coming period, PRAIRIE FIRE will be a growing thing. 

W r e hope the paper opens a dialectic among those in the mass and 
clandestine movements: we hope people will take PRAIRIE FIRE as 
seriously as we do, study the content and write and publish their views of 
the paper as well as their analysis of their own practice. We will respond as 
best we can. 

Our movement urgently needs a concrete analysis of the particular 
conditions of our time and place. We need strategy. We need to battle for a 

correct ideology and win people over. In this way we create the conditions 
for the development of a successful revolutionary movement and party. We 
need a revolutionary communist party in order to lead the struggle, give 
coherence and direction to the fight, seize power and build the new society. 
Getting from here to there is a process of coming together in a disciplined 
way around ideology and strategy, developing an analysis of our real 
conditions, mobilizing a base among the US people, building principled 
relationships to Third World struggle, and accumulating practice in struggle 
against US imperialism. 

PRAIRIE FIRE is written to communist-minded people, 
independent organizers and anti -imperialists; those who carry the traditions 
and lessons of the struggles of the last decade, those who join in the struggles 
of today. PRAIRIE FIRE is written to all sisters and brothers who are 
engaged in armed struggle against the enemy. It is written to prisoners, 
women's groups, collectives, study groups, workers' organizing committees, 
communes, GI organizers, consciousness-raising groups, veterans, community 
groups and revolutionaries of all kinds; to all who will read, criticize and 
bring its content to life in practice. It is written as an argument against those 
who oppose action and hold back the struggle. 

PRAIRIE FIRE is based on a belief that the duty of a revolutionary 
is to make the revolution. This is not an abstraction. It means that 
revolutionaries must make a profound commitment to the future of 
humanity, apply our limited knowledge and experience to understand an 
ever-changing situation, organize the masses of people and build the fight. It 
means that struggle and risk and hard work and adversity will become a way of 
life, that the only certainty will be constant change, that the only 
possibilities are victory or death. 

We have only begun. At this time, the unity and consolidation of 
anti-imperialist forces around a revolutionary program is an urgent and 
pressing strategic necessity. PRAIRIE FIRE is offered as a contribution to 
this unity of action and purpose. Now it is in your hands. 

for the Weather Underground 

Bernardine Dohrn 
Billy Ayers 
Jeff Jones 
Celia Sojourn 






























IN THE BEGINNING: Genocide, Slavery, Racism 

THE OPPOSITION: Miners, Women, Immigrants, Wobblies 

















—Institutions of Racism 
-Black Culture, Black Power 
—Support for Self-determination 



—Homy and Family 

—Government Policies 

—Culture of Sexism 



—Overcoming Class Privilege 

— Opposing Racism 

-Insurgent Institutions 









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That is good, because revolutionary spirit must always 
be present, revolutionary spirit must reveal itself. We must 
arm our spirit. When the spirit is armed, the people are strong. 

Fidel Castro 

Santiago, Chile 

November 2<K 1971 

The unique and fundamental condition of (his time is the decline of 
US imperialism. Our society is in social and economic crisis arid assumptions 
about the US are turned on their heads. These are hard conditions to live 
through. But they are favorable for the people and for revolution. 

These conditions of constant change demand the weapon of theory. 
Like people everywhere, we are analyzing how to bring to life the potential 
forces which can destroy LS imperialism. 

We are a guerrilla organization. We are communist women and men, 
underground in the United States for more than four years.' We are deeply 
affected by the historic events of our time in the struggle against US 

Our intention is to disrupt the empire ... to incapacitate it, to put 
pressure on the cracks, to make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning 
against the people of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from 
the inside. 

Our intention is to engage the enemy . . . to wear away at him, to 
harass him, to isolate him, to expose every weakness, to pounce, to reveal his 

Our intention is to encourage the people ... to provoke leaps in 
confidence and consciousness, to stir the imagination, to popularize power, 
to agitate, to organize, to join in every way possible the people's day-to-day 

Our intention is to forge an underground ... a clandestine political 
organization engaged in every form of struggle, protected from the eyes and 
weapons of the state, a base against repression, to accumulate lessons, 
experience and constant practice, a base from which to attack. 



The only path to the final defeat of imperial ism and the building of 
socialism is revolutionary war. Revolution is the most powerful resource of 
the people. To wait, to not prepare people for the fight, is to seriously 
mislead about what kind of fierce struggle lies ahead. 

Revolutionary war will be complicated and protracted. It. includes 
mass struggle and clandestine struggle, peaceful and violent, political and 
economic, cultural and military, where all forms are developed in harmony 
with the armed struggle. 

Without mass struggle there can be no revolution. 

Without armed struggle there can be no victory. 

It will not be immediate, for the enemy is entrenched and 
intractable. It will require lengthy, deliberate political and armed struggle 
to build the organized power of the people and io wear away a! the power of 
the enemy. Many people have given their lives in this struggle and many 
more will have to. Paradoxically, this protracted struggle is the shortest and 
least costly road to revolution. 

We are at an early stage, going from small to large. The mass armed 
capability which will destroy the enemy has its beginnings in armed action. 
It matures unevenly, with setbacks and at great cost. It will not spring 
full-blown on the scene at the magical moment of insurrection. We cannot 
leave the organizing and preparation for armed struggle to some more perfect 
future time. It would be suicidal. There is no predetermined model for 
revolution —we are always figuring it out. But for some, armed struggle is 
always too soon, although it is underway here and around the world. 

We made the choice to become a guerrilla organization at a time 
when the Vietnamese were fighting a heroic people's war, defeating half a 
million US troops and the most technologically advanced military power. In 
our own hemisphere, Che Guevara urged that we "create two, three, many 
Vietnams," to destroy US imperialism by cutting it off in the Third World 
tentacle by tentacle, and opening another front within the US itself. At 
home, the struggle and insurrection of the Black liberation movement 
heightened our commitment to fight alongside the determined enemies of 
the empire. 

This defined our international responsibility and our duty as white 
revolutionaries inside the oppressor nation. We are part of a wave of 
revolution sparked by the Black liberation struggle, by the death of Che in 
Bolivia in 1967, and by people's war in Vietnam. This period forged our 
belief in the revolutionary necessity of clandestine organization and armed 


Revolution is a fight by the people for power. It is a changing of 
power in which existing social and economic relations are turned upside 
down. It is a fight for who run things, in particular, for control by the 
people of what we communists call the means of production -the means by 
which people eat, work, protect themselves from the cold and the rain, get 
around, raise children and build. 

The imperialists now control the means by which these necessities of 

... get produced and distributed. They determine what gets produced, 

;-..i 4 cost in human effort, under what conditions, and who gets what's 

■ ■. ....-ed. This is complete control over people's lives. It is economic power 

"."ir more. It involves and implicates people in a system over which they 

_ - Li ! tie control; a system which includes unprecedented slaughter 

■ '.[ill continuous wars, genocide, the violent suppression of Black, Puerto 

r.r.. Chicano, and Indian people, the subjugation of women, daily! 

; -xtvaction of maximum profit from the people's work, the development 

fantastic arsenal of weapons (including nuclear arms) in the control of 

.- imperialists, It intimately affects day-to-day behavior —thoughts, values, 

_t r; tial and hopes. 

Only the pressure of the struggle of the mass of people humanizes 
:.:- system at all. 

It is an illusion that imperialism will decay peacefully. Imperialism 
- meant constant war. Imperialists defend their control of the means of life 
_T:i terrible force. There is no reason to believe they will become humane or 
_ Jiiquish power. As matters deteriorate for imperialism, there is every 
.-r.:?on to believe they will tighten control, pass their contradictions on to 
-.Tie people, and struggle for every last bit of power, To not prepare the 
people for this struggle is to disarm them ideologically and physically and to 
perpetrate a cruel hoax. 


Armed struggle has come into being in the United States. It is an 
indication of growth that our movement has developed clandestine 
organizations and that we are learning how to fight. 

The development of guerrilla organization and armed activity against 
the state is most advanced in the Black community, where the tradition and 
necessity for resistance is highest. The crises of the society provide the 
training grounds; for Third World people the conditions of prison, the 
army, the streets and most oppressive jobs produce warriors, political 
theorists, and active strategists. 

The Black Liberation Army —fighting for three years under ruthless 
attack by the state— the fighters in prisons, and recently the Symbionese 
Liberation Army are leading forces in the development of the armed struggle 
and political consciousness, respected by ourselves and other revolutionaries. 

At this early stage in the armed and clandestine struggle, our forms 
of combat and confrontation are few and precise. Our organized forces are 
small, the enemy's forces are huge. We live inside the oppressor nation, 
particularly suited to urban guerrilla warfare. We are strategically situated in 
the nerve centers of the international empire, where the institutions and 
symbols of imperial power are concentrated. The cities will be a major 
battleground, for the overwhelming majority of people live in the cities; the 
cities are our terrain. 

We believe that carrying out armed struggle will affect the people's 
consciousness of the nature of the struggle against the state. By beginning 
the armed struggle, the awareness of its necessity will be furthered. This is no 
less true in the US than in other countries throughout the uorld. 
Revolutionary action generates revolutionary consciousness; growing 

consciousness develops revolutionary action. Action teaches the lessons of 
fighting, and demonstrates that armed struggle is possible. 

We are building a foundation. In four years of armed work, we have 
come to appreciate the complexity of doing it right and the difficulty of 
sustaining it. These arc contradictions we are working with: 

—We live in a whirlwind; nonetheless, time is on the side of the 
guerrillas. Fighting the enemy is urgent, and we have a duty to do all we can. 
Yet it takes time to win the people's trust; it takes time to build an 
organization capable of surviving the hunt; it takes time to recover and learn 
from mistakes, to prepare, train, study and investigate. This is an 
observation. It is not offered as an argument for delay. 

—There is constant resolution between carrying forward the struggle 
and the necessity of preserving valuable cadre and supporters. Sometimes 
this is- not a matter of choice —the guerrillas arc forced, because of the 
torture and murder committed by the repressive apparatus, to escalate and 
move beyond what can be immediately sustained. 

—Armed struggle brings the resistance to a sharper and deeper level 
of development. The greater the resistance, the greater will be the force 
and scope of the state repression brought to bear upon the people. When 
resistance is at a high level, the enemy takes measures against the people. But 
treading lightly will not assuage the rulers. Violent repression is built into the 
status quo. Guerrilla strategy has to resolve the contradiction between the 
necessary progress of the struggle and what the people can sustain at any 
given time. 

— Armed actions push forward people's consciousness and 
commitment: they are a great teacher and example. Yet they must be clearly 
understandable to the people, identify our enemy precisely, and overcome 
his massive lies and propaganda. 

Attacks by the Weather Underground have been focused and 
specific. These actions were a catalyst for thousands of politically-directed 
armed actions between 1970 and 1972, almost all of which complemented 
mass struggles. 

These hombings were carried out by the Weather Underground: 

—To retaliate for the most savage criminal attacks against Black and 
Third World people, especially by the police apparatus: 

Haymarkct police statue, Chicago, October 1969 and October 1970; 

Chicago police cars, following the murder of Fred Hampton and 

Mark Clark, December 1969; 

New York City Police Ileadquaters, June 1970; 

Marin County Courthouse, following the murder of Jonathan 

Jackson, William Christmas and James McClain, August 1970; 

Long Island City Courthouse, in Queens, in solidarity with prison 

revolts taking place in New York City, October 1970; 

Department of Corrections in San Francisco and 

Office of California Prisons in Sacramento, for the murder of 

George Jackson in San Quentin, August 1971; 

Department of Corrections in Albany, N.Y., for the murder and 

assault against the prisoners of Attica, September 1971; 

103rd Precinct of the New York City police, for the murder of 

10-year-old Clifford Clover, May 1973 . . . 



—To disrupt and agitate against US aggression and terror against 
Vietnam and the Third World: 

•• Harvard war research Center for International Affairs, Proud Eagle 

Tribe (women's brigade), October 1970; 
•• US Capitol, after the invasion of Laos, March 1971; 
•• MIT research center, William Bundy's office, Proud Eagle Tribe 

(women's brigade), October 1971; 
•• The Pentagon, after the bombing of Hanoi and mining of the 

harbors of North Vietnam, May 1972; 
•• Draft and recruiting centers; 
•• ROTC buildings; 
•• ITT Latin America Headquarters, following the fascist 

counter-revolution in Chile, September 1973 , . . 

—To expose and focus attention against the power and institutions 
which most cruelty oppress, exploit and delude the people: 

•• National Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., after the murders 

at Jackson State and'Kent State, May 1970; 
• • Presidio Army Base and MP Station, San Francisco, July 26, 1970; 
•• Federal Offices of HEW (Health, Education and Welfare), (women's 

brigade), San Francisco, March 1974; 
•• Liberation of Timothy Leary trom Calif ornia Men 's Colony, San Luis 

Obispo, September 1970 . . . 

Mass struggle and movements are not mere spectators in 
revolutionary war; armed struggle cannot become a spectacle. It is the 
responsibility of mass leaders and organizations to encourage and support 
revolutionary armed struggle, in open as well as quiet ways. Actions are more 
powerful when they are explained and defended. The political thrust of each 
armed intervention can be publicly championed and built on. Parallel mass 
support will further both the mass and military struggle. 

There arc many faces to militant resistance and fighting, a 
continuum between guerrilla and mass w r ork. An examination of recent 
history points to: acts of resistance . . . draft card burnings, sabotage in the 
military, on the job, in government, and attacks on the police; mass 
demonstrations . . . Marches on the Pentagon, Stop the Draft Week, African 
Liberation Day rallies. International Women's Day marches, Chicano 
Moratorium marches; demands for control and power through seizures of 
institutions . . . community control of hospitals and schools, occupations of 1 
land such as Wounded Knee, or symbols such as the Statue of Liberty, 
People's Park, prison rebellions and takeovers: clandestine 
propaganda . . . spray painting, pouring blood on draft files, the Media, Pa. 
FBI ripoff ; popular rebellion . . , W'atts, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, Newark; 
outrage expressed violently and collectively . . . jackson/Kent/Cambodia, 
bank burning at Isla Vista, TDA's, Days of Rage. 

There are connecting lines between these different forms of fighting. 
All are forms of resistance by the people, and forms of attack against the 
state. Militancy and armed struggle are consistent threads in revolutionary 
movements -they cannot be wished or forced, away. They will continue to 
be practiced as long as imperialism exists. Together they constitute the 
fullness of revolutionary war. 

The greater pari of the revolution remains before us. We need to 
evaluate our strengths and weaknesses to go on from here. Our present 
strategy is rooted in our interpretation of the struggle? of the last fourteen 


Denunciations of the struggles of the sixties as a failure do the 
enemy's work. These surrenders are a live burial of our people's great 
moments, and weaken the future by poisoning the lessons of the past. The 
movement produced some of the highest expressions of international 
solidarity and commitment in an oppressor nation. Weaknesses there were 
plenty. We cannot evade them, ignore them nor be reluctant to learn from 
them. But the lessons won't be drawn apart from the context —where we 
were coming from and how far we still have to go to revolutionize ourselves 
and society. 


The struggles of the 60's changed everything, and we strongly affirm 
the general thrust and direction of the politics and movements of the last 
decade. The achievements only represent beginnings, but they arc not small: 

Desanetification of the empire. The lesson that the US imperial 
system is not permanently superior, not invincible even at the height of its 
power, not loved by the people of the world, and not satisfying the needs of 
the great majority of the US people —this is of incalculable importance to 
the awakening of consciousness. In this year of cynicism about the US rulers 
it is hard to remember the power of the myths of US invincibility and 
democracy which governed our people at the beginning of the 60's. 
Although US global aims had already been rocked by the success of the 
Chinese Revolution in 1949, the struggles for African independence through 
the 1950's and the failure to win in Korea, the implications of all this were 
not known by the US people. The forces unleashed at Little Rock and 
Montgomery and the triumph of the Cuban Revolution were already 
burrowing away at the edifice of US superiority, yet we were still asleep. 

People now see that imperialism is warlike, with an economy based 
on the arms race, defense spending and a need to support expansion with the 
bloodiest interventions in history. People understand corporate greed: the 
criminal policies of ITT, United Fruit, Standard Oil, Gull' Oil, Dow 
Chemical, Chase Manhattan, Safeway, and Honeywell. People can now see 
the hypocrisy of US freedom, justice and democracy —high sounding words 
masking the fact of US exploitation, aggression and counter-revolution. 

Material contribution to Vietnamese victory. The anti-war 
movement made a significant contribution toward Forcing the US 
government to withdraw troops from Vietnam. As part of the worldwide 
united front against imperialism our movement helped prevent the use of 

nuclear weapons against Vietnam, a major assault on the dike system, or an 
invasion of the North. The ruling class is not restrained by scruples —only by 
their estimation of the political consequences of their actions. The imperial 
army became an unreliable tool of domination. There were serious 
interruptions in the functioning of the draft. In addition, part of the anti-war 
movement saw through the blinders of national chauvinism and brought a 
glimpse to the US people of the righteousness and humanity of the so-called 

Opposition to racism. The spirit of resistance inside the US was 
rekindled by Black people. The power and strategy of the civil rights 
movement, SNCC, Malcolm X, and the Black Panther Party affected all other 
rebellion. They created a form of struggle "called direct action; awoke a 
common identity, history and dignity for Black people as a colonized and 
oppressed people within the US; drew out and revealed the enemy through a 
series of just and undeniable demands such as the vote, equal education, the 
right to self-defense, and an end to Jim Crow. The police, the troops, the 
sheriffs, the mass arrests and assassinations were the official response. The 
Black movement was pushed forward into a revolutionary movement for 
political power, open rebellion and confrontation with the racism of white 
people and the racism of institutions. 

Growth of insurgent cultures. Young women and men fighting to be 
human beings in the midst of disgusting and crushing social forms found 
ourselves in opposition to empire. Since World War II imperialism sought to 
tame its youth thru tracked education, the draft, [he oppression of 
women. These conditions produced a profound alienation in work, school, 
family, and an openness to revolutionary alternative. The youth revolt and 
the women's movement moved practically an entire generation on one level 
or another. This means a substantial sector w r as torn away from sexist and 
competitive culture and gave birth to new cultures, fragile bu! real -cultures 
in opposition to the system. The overthrowing of rotten values of male 
supremacy, eonsumerism, passivity, respect ability and the rat race, was a 
wonderful advance. For women working, for w r omen forced into the 
marriage marketplace, trapped in oppressive relationships, raising children 
alone, the women's movement brought a new sense of self-worth and 
dignity; it explained the conditions of women's oppression. We began to 
create solidarity among women. 

Challenge to inaction. We inherited a deadening ideology of 
coiifornnty and gradualism. Our first protests were law-abiding and 
peaceful. But !he treacherous nature of US power was revealed as we began 
to comprehend Hiroshima, napalm, slavery, lynching, capital punishment, 
rape, Indian reservations. We came to see that change is violently opposed 
every step of the way. We stood up and defied propriety, the state and the 
law, in street demonstrations and outrageous actions. Militant confrontation 
politics transformed us, we broke with a powerless past. We saw popular 
uprisings, armed revolution, people's war, and guerrilla combat around the 
world. We realized the power of armed self-defense, mass rebellion and 
revolutionary violence in the Black movement. As our own protest elicited 
teargas, prison and bullets, we recognized the need to fight and the terrible 
cost of not doing all we possibly can. 


The year 1968 was a high point and a turning point. It is not 
surprising that the maturing of the movement took place at a time when the 
world was in flames. 500,000 US troops were dealt a staggering blow by the 
Vietnamese popular forces during Tet. Armed struggle raged throughout 
Latin America and the Palestinian liberation forces emerged in the Mideast. 
Student movements in France and throughout the industrialized world were 
in full revolt, challenging their own governments and demonstrating open 
solidarity with the people of the world. The Chinese Cultural Revolution was 
unleashing a new dimension to class struggle. 

The movement emerged with a growing revolutionary consciousness 
that it was involved in a battle for power. This grew out of experience. Black 
Power had become the slogan for the Black liberation movement, and its 
political thrust transformed the civil rights movement. Black power was 
applied in persistent struggles for community control of schools, in 
rebellions in 60 cities following the assassination of Martin Luther King, by 
Black students occupying universities, sometimes with arms, and in the 
emergence of the Black Panther Party, 

We also came to recognize that issues which once seemed separate 
had a relationship to one another. Imperialism was "discovered" as a whole, 
one system. This was a tremendous political breakthrough -it made sense of 
the world and our own experience, The same school which tracked students 
by sex, race and class into the appropriate niche, turned out to own slums in 
the Black community and to develop anti-personnel weapons and strategies 
against revolution— to be in fact a tool of the corporations and the military. 

We were up against a ruling class, and it made no sense to ask them 
to reform themselves. Our rebellion had led us to revolution —a long and 
many-sided struggle for power. 

SDS was a leading anti-imperialist organization in this movement. 
Historically, students play an advanced and militant role in anti-imperialist 
struggle, opposing war and racial injustice. The revolt at Columbia University 
was a catalyst which exploded the previous era of resistance into a popular 
revolutionary movement of students and young people. The street battles at 
the Democratic National Convention in Chicago several months later led to 
further occupations and demonstrations involving hundreds of thousandsof 
militants. The demonstrations built on each other; each struggle was unique 
and beautiful. The vitality of SDS was rooted in its local experiences and the 
application of national programs to different regions and conditions 
—applying the lessons of Columbia, films on Cuba, building alliances with a 
Black Student Union. The taste of liberation, the intense struggles, 
transformed our identifications, our lives. 

At this point, some new contradictions appeared. 

The slate set into motion a plan to discredit, divide and set back the 
movement. The May 1968 j. Edgar Hoover counterinsurgency memo reveals 
a national plan to "expose, disrupt, and otherwise neutralize the activities of 
the various New Left organizations, their leadership and adherents." 
Infiltration and sabotage were carried out by a variety of police agents, 
including the FBI, the Nixon-Mitchell team, military intelligence, and local 
red squads. As always the attack was focused on the Black liberation 

movement and included violent assaults against Black communities and 
leaders, particularly the Black Panther Party. 

With enormous growth of membership, militancy and consciousness 
after the 1968 demonstrations in Chicago, SDS was faced with several urgent 
necessities: to draw hroader masses of people into the struggle, and also to 
organize our cadre and transform ourselves into a force which could 
eventually contend for power. These necessities coexisted uneasily. What 
were the roads taken at this juncture ? 

Our strategy was the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM). It was 
aimed at extending the movement among young people —to expand its base 
and class character, to mobilize Lhose affected by the draft, the army, 
unemployment, schools, prisons, into anti-imperialist struggle. RYM was a 
transitional strategy to maintain the militant mass base on the campuses, 
while we deepened our base among the working class. Young people's 
openness and consciousness/identification with militant anti-imperialism was 
a strategic strength. This movement continued to grow spontaneously, even 
after the decline of SDS. 

This politics was opposed by an opportunist politics that took the 
form of economism. Economismappears in every revolutionary movement as 
the reduction of revolution to a struggle for purely economic gains. 
Economism has many masks. It was then expressed in a leftish form of 
"going to the workers," not by creating revolutionary consciousness and 
action but by sacrificing principle in the hope of gaining a place in the labor 
movement. This is a corrupt politics, proven bankrupt again and again. In the 
IIS, where many of the people who are exploited by imperialism also receive 
benefits from the super-exploitation of the colonies, economism feeds the 
idea that people here can be free while other oppressed people are still under 
the yoke of US imperialism. 

Our deep political concern was the historic tendency of the white 
left to abandon militant anti-imperialism and anti-racism —principled 
support for Third World struggle— in search of easy integration with the 
masses. It is difficult to synthesize militant anti-imperialism with a mass base 
among oppressor-nation people because of the whole fabric of relative 
social/ materia I white-skin privilege. Much of the movement resolved this 
contradiction in the direction of opportunism around race. This was the 
main error of the period, deeply rooted in US radical history. 

A comparable example was the student power movement. Some 
argued that the demand for student's rights and power would become 
revolutionary in and of itself. This is not true. The chauvinism of "student 
power" demands by white students ignored the claims of university workers, 
the community, and the Third World people who would be the victims of 
university-researched weapons and programs. This demand encouraged 
narrow concern for a relatively privileged sector at the expense of the more 
oppressed. But when the student revolts actively allied with other 
movements in the interests of the most oppressed peoples against the 
common enemy, they became a serious threat to the empire. When each 
movement only sees its own claims arid interests in isolation from other 
movements, they play themselves out, one after the other. 

Another major factor at this point was the rebellion of women 
against sexism in the society and in the left. The left is not immune from the 
sexism which pervades US society: the oppressor culture persists and must 

be opposed and fought again and again. This requires an active commitment 
to anti-sexism. In the late sixties and early seventies many women left the 
anti-imperialist movement and built a separate women's movement. Sisters 
inside —and now outside— the anti-imperiliast movement began to force men 
to deal with their sexist practice. These were absolutely necessary advances. 
The struggles against sexism did not only mean criticism and change of 
individual practice, they also transformed the overall analysis of the left. The 
contradiction was that the women's movement, rejecting sexist and 
authoritarian leadership, raised blanket challenges to all forms of leadership 
and organization in the movement, good and had, and failed at that point to 
build lasting organizations to carry on the task of strong determined 
anti-imperialist struggle. 

SDS was torn by these internal and external dynamics. It was 
becoming an organization of revolutionaries, anti-imperialist activists. This 
was recognized by the state which moved to disrupt it. Major ideological 
struggles about the correct path to transforming SDS into a broader mass 
organization polarized rapidly, while simultaneously the urgent necessity to 
join the struggle against imperialism in a serious and armed way was 
heightened by the Vietnam War and the liberation movement of Black 
people. Things were in great turmoil and a continuous process of change. 


We have to learn from our mistakes. Unsorting errors and correct 
understandings, reassessing strengths and weaknesses, are a revolutionary 
responsibility. This is because our errors have consequences for the ability to 
find the right road, for trust and confidence in relationship with the people, 
and also for the state which learns from our errors and will use them against 
us. All movements make mistakes. Those which recover from their mistakes 
have been able to act with audacity and move forward with the people. But 
errors must first be recognized and corrected; this is a test of our 
movement's strength. 

We were correct in our decision to prepare and build the armed 
struggle. There is a strategic necessity to build underground movement, to 
learn to fight through fighting, to pull forward into the conflict. There is a 
need to develop militant action, and from militant action to develop guerrilla 
activity. This beginning involved a confrontation with privilege and 
inhibition and was impolite, rough, disruptive and disorderly. It was an 
essential step forward, and could not be held back for some "perfect 
moment." Three of our comrades gave their lives to begin the armed struggle 
—Diana Oughton, Teddy Gold, and Terry Robbins. By March 1970, a base 
from which to carry out guerrilla and underground actions had been 

We were wrong in failing to realize the possibility and strategic 
necessity of involving masses of people in anti -imperialist action and 
organization. We fixed our vision only on white people's complicity with 
empire, with the silence in the face of escalating terror and blatant murder of 
Black revolutionaries. We let go of our identification with the people -the 
promise, the yearnings, the defeats. 

This error had two consequences. 


In the course of preparing for armed struggle in late 1969 we began 
mistaking friends for enemies. We applied the strictest standards of 
willingness to risk everything to comrades and allies, as well as to the real 
opportunists who represented the politics of retreat. We attacked those who 
could not come along the whole way, sometimes just because they were not 
ready to support everything we said and did. We did not learn from 
meaningful criticism from comrades. 

We made the mistake of deemphasizing the importance of mass 
work and lost sight of our long-standing commitment to mass struggle. The 
militancy and commitment of the Days of Rage and the initiation of armed 
actions contributed to andpushed forwardrnass struggle;the continuous revolt 
in the armed forces, the Justice Department demonstration in November 
1969, TDA's (The Day After demonstrations), Isla Vista, culminating in 
jackson/Kent/Cambodia in the spring of 1970. Conditions were ripe. The 
mass movement continued to grow, broaden and escalate at the same time 
[hat mass organizations began to fall apart, waver and dissolve. 

Reaffirming the importance of mass movement and political as 
well as military struggle, we wrote New Morning in December 1970, But 
New Morning gave uncritical support to youth culture and came to represent 
a repudiation of revolutionary violence. The Panther 21 wrote a generous 
and fighting criticism of New Morning from prison, which warned us against 
putting down our weapons. They correctly pointed to the necessity to 
continue to fight and our need to teach our people to fight. By failing to 
answer, wc lost an opportunity to engage in dialogue with these brave and 
dedicated comrades. 


Now the movement is disorganized, divided and defensive, unable 
to fulfill the whole potential to learn and to lead. There has been relatively 
little organized mass action and relatively great disunity within our 
movement in the last three years. In the movement times are hard. On the 
other hand, the opportunity for change and organizing among millions of 
poor, unemployed and working people, among women, among youth, is 
great. The continuing social crises are accelerating the process of social 
dislocation, and people are opening to the possibility of revolutionary 

Objectiveiconditions do not produce revolution themselves. In times 
of crisis and change people's fears and discontents and hopes can be 
mobilized in different directions —toward opiates of all sorts, reform, 
right-wing movements and war. That is why revolutionary organization, 
leadership and example are required to call the discontent into life and 
action, to seize the time. 

There are serious problems and barriers to revolutionary growth 
now facing us, which we have to uncover and took in the face. Some are 
setbacks inflicted by the state; some are obstacles —weaknesses and 
contradictions among us; some are anti -revolutionary currents and errors 
within the movement. 



A nti -organization tendencies. The lack of a national organization, 
embracing and based in popular movements, unified around anti-imperialism 
is a most severe weakness. A generation of cadre was built in the struggles of 
the 60's and early 70's. People need organization. Organization unites, gives 
direction and breadth to particular political work. The lack of organization 
affects all other problems. 

It leaves people with no place to go to join the struggle, no way to 
connect to something larger than ourselves, no form for struggling and 
resolving our other problems. Good local work or work focused around one 
single issue suffers from the lack of national, overall organization. 

The failures and the dissolution of previous organizations have 
served as an excuse for anti-organizational tendencies: attacking and 
undermining all forms of organization. The idea prevails that organization 
means giving up individual integrity, or is irretrievably sexist/male 

dominated, or is by definition oppressive. Like every other revolutionary 
movement on earth, we desperately need good organizations, strong and 
healthy, to embody the struggle and direct our energies like a spear. 

Cynicism . The subjective mood of surrender and powerlessness is 
expressed in various repudiations of the 60's or turning to idealistic Utopian 
solutions. Cynicism coincides with extreme individualism, expects the 
revolution to somehow be pure, and victories easy. We also face adversity: 
some activists feel extremely demoralized, some feel burned out from the 
difficulties of revolutionary work. We must help each other through pain and 
breakdown, through separation, loss and death. We must care for the 
physical and mental health of the revolutionary community, for those in 
prison, for the raising of the children and the sustenance of the older people. 
At the same time as we recognize the real difficulties, we nourish our 
revolutionary spirit, commit every fiber of our lives to the struggle. 

Sexism. The full participation and leadership of women is necessary 
for suecesful and healthy revolution. Revolutionary organizations must 
recognize the struggle for women's liberation as a fundamental political 
revolution and must repudiate the intolerable backwardness of all forms of 
sexism. The development of the independent women's movement as well as 
active struggle against the institutions and ideas of sexism are the basis for 
insuring that the revolution genuinely empowers women. 

Racism. The left must make clear at every point its unswerving and 
mik'tant support for the liberation of Black, Puerto Rican, Chicano, Native 
American and all Third World peoples. It must refuse to compromise this 
active support for short-term "gains," or to win the approval of whites we 
are trying to organize at the workshop, in the schools or the communities. 
This is true for the whole movement and for every individual in the 
movement. The creation of an anti-racist white movement is the necessary 
foundation for the functional unity of Third World and white enemies of the 
empire. Anti-racist organizing and action can create this unity. Where this 
kind of work has begun, it should be broadened and extended. 



There are two currents of thought and activity that conspire to hold 
back the power of the movement. They are American exceptionalism and 
reformism. These tendencies often unite and reinforce each other. They are 
subtly embedded in various tendencies and accepted truisms in the left, and 
they are strategically put forward by the enemy to deflect us. They are both 
racist in effect. 

American exceptionalism is the assumption that for one reason or 
another —US "technological superiority," the "post-scarcity economy." the 
"system of democracy," our "advanced consciousness"— our revolutionary 
struggle is not subject to the same general conditions and the same general 
necessities as others. 

It assumes different faces. One is American superiority, a kind of 
cultural chauvinism. This is characterized by the acceptance of some of these 
positions: that imperialism is something different from and unnecessary to 
capitalism, something that happens outside the US, incidental to the struggle 
here; US society is stable and even, not subject to the great dislocations and 
wrenching changes sweeping the world; our feminist consciousness is more 
advanced that that of women in Third World liberation movements or in 
Cuba or Vietnam; our revolution will be a consciousness revolution on the 
plane of personal relations and sexuality —we have passed beyond anything 
as "old fashioned" as socialism. 

Of course there are new conditions and unique aspects to US 
society. Our revolution makes its own contributions. But we have to elicit 
the class consciousness and struggle out from beneath layers of false 
consciousness, resignation and tearfulness. Our women's movement is a great 
new vital movement, but wc can also learn much from women of the Third 
World about who our enemy is and how to mobilize to fight him. The 
repudiation of cultural oppression isn't everything, but it does constitute a 
serious break with the brain-washing control of empire. 

As a people we are saturated with the myth of American 
superiority. As a revolutionary people, we must take our place in the human 
community resolutely opposed to all expressions of arrogance. 

Another form of American exceptionalism is rejecting forms of 
struggle for the US which are obviously necessary in other parts of the 
world. Some people actually defend the taking up of arms by the 
Vietnamese people, the Chilean workers or the Chinese Revolution —but 
preserve the territory within US borders from the same laws and forces 
which produce, revolution everywhere else. This is half-hearted 
internationalism. Colossal arrogance is concealed in the self-deception that 
Third World people and socialist countries can and must do the fighting 
while we have some kind of free ride, tidy and constitutional. 

Reformism deceives and derails the movement by putting forward 
the strategy of "peaceful transition to socialism." It pretends to reassure the 
people by spreading pacifist and conciliatory ideas. It sells short the 
sacrifices and strivings of the people —disarms them of their correct 
understanding of the intractable nature of the enemy and disarms them of 
their own power and will to fight and win. Reformism assumes the essential 
goodness of US society, in conflict with the revolutionary view that the 


system is rotten to the core and must be overthrown. 

Reformism rejects revolutionary violence by treating each new 
armed act as if it. were a Reichstag fire, an act of provocation, or premature. 
Along with denouncing armed struggle comes the exaggerated emphasis on 
legality and electoral struggle, or an attempt |.o influence power by 
collaboration with the "best" aspects of the imperialists. Thus many good 
struggles which are parallel to and complementary to militant and armed 
struggle are instead turned against it, and posed as an alternative. 

Another characteristic of reformism is "mainstreamisra" —the 
attempt within the left to take on the coloration of the worst aspects of the 
mainstream of US society and history so as to be acceptable, and thereby 
change things without disturbing people toomueh.This is an attempt to slide in 
under the flag. In the name of becoming integrated with the US people, this 
movement abdicates its responsibility to confront racism and class rule and 
change it. It becomes corrupt. 


We are lighting u treacherous and nilhless enemy. The state has 
implemented a plan to contain and erush the power of revolution. In the last 
period they have inflicted some serious blows which have set back the 

Coimterinsurgency . A major organized attack has been mounted 
against Black people and the Black community by Nixon forces, hike US 
military interventions against Third YvorhJ peoples, this campaign of 
genocide is a measure of the powerful threat to empire posed by Black 
people. It has included waves of assassinations of Black leaders, imprisoning 
large sectors of the young militant population, often for life, infiltration and 
generalized terror. Heroin and methadone traffic have been massively 
Greeted against Black urban communities. Part of a generation of Black 
youth has been lost to drugs. It was irresponsible of us in 1970 to emphasize 
only the social role of consciousness-expanding drugs without making a 
frontal assault on the genoeidal use of heroin the main tiirust of our position 
on drugs. 

The government has come down hard on the entire Black 
community: massive unemployment, sellouts which cultivate illiteracy 
among Black children, cutbacks in funds for the cities which hasten the 
collapse of communities through terrible housing and welfare starvation. 

It is impossible to estimate the human cost of the government's 
strategy —the lives of people like Jonathan and George Jackson, 

Repression. The nature of Nixon's extralegal attack on the 
movement was spelled out in the j, Edgar Hoover memo of May 1M68 and 
elaborated by Mitchell and the Justice Department and White House 
CIA-types. It is a strategy of infiltration, disruption and selected blows 
against anti-war and revolutionary movements and leaders. It did temporarily 
succeed in creating a climate of distrust and suspicion on the left. Its tactics 
included threats and intimidation, espionage, grand juries and long trials 
—and selected murders. The strategy against the Black movement and the 
strategy against the anti-war left are different faces of the same apparatus. 
Their basic repressive strategy is to divide, separate out, and make vulnerable 

—to divide Third World and white, those in prison from those outside, those 
in solitary from I hose in population, leaders from the grass roots and the 
guerrillas from the mass? movement. 

Organizing a Base fur Fasc i sm. In the US this means racism: 
building cxplicHy or thinly -disguised anti-Black and Third World campaigns. 
To the extent that thev have gone unchallenged by organized revolutionary 
forces they have 'been serious defeats. 

The anti-busing movement is a Nixon-special, a tragedy for children 
and anti-racist people. The entire elaborate campaign against busing is 
promoted to disguise the fact t.!iat segregation of schools today is more 
intense and extensive than in 1954 when the Supreme Court ordered it 
ended. Anti-busing will roll back integration where it has happened and 
entrench a segregated school system firmly in the control of racist white 
Boards of Education. The campaign is violently anti-Black, under cover of 
anti-busing, hi Bos-ton 20,000 whites marched against the busing of children; 
in Pontiac, Michigan, Ozone Park and Canarsie, New York, white parents 
attacked school buses and ixuiral oil on Black children. 

Nixon's anti-busing campaign goes hand in hand with drastic cuts of 
funds for education. Education for Third World children in segregated 
schools is colonial-style —Black, Chieano, and Puerto Rican youth North and 
South are abused, overcrowded, ignored if quiet and drugged if not, lost in 
detention centers and beaten. Anti-busing has a political meaning which is 
not at all about whether busing is the best way j.o achieve decent education 
for most children. The real question is: Who will control the schools ? The 
design of the state is control of the child's education, whether in the 
integrated or segregated school. Segregate where you can; track the kids 
where you must integrate. While racist control of the schools attempts to 
prevent the Black child from succeeding in that dangerous and subversive 
endeavor: learning to read. 


fel HwnoU, Ckiir^^ms^^ri^^^ C\\\a^ } W. 

A similar assault has been mounted against the people on welfare, 
women, children and old people. Rockefeller and Reagan have led special 
drives to institute photo indentity cards, compulsory work programs, and 
impossible requirements to drive people off welfare by every means. 

Nixon has twice hased his election propaganda on the rallying cry 
of law-and-order. This has led to a national reorganization of police forces, 
greater police use of advanced counterinsurgency technology developed for 
Vietnam, and greater centralization of police forces thru computers, training 
and coordinating groups like LEA A. 

Anti-crime legislation mobilizes racist fears in the white population. 
It has been successful enough to undo many gains of the previous two 
decades: to initiate preventive detention, undermine the jury system and put 
into effect new mandatory death penalties. Two models are the special 
police crackdown unit used in Detroit, called STRESS, which was 
responsible for the murder of many Black people; and the new Rockefeller 
drug law, which forces legal addiction by giving people a "choice" between 
long prison sentences and lifetime parole, or mandatory methadone 

If we do not create an anti-racist left, the masses of white people 
being bombarded with these measures have little alternative but to resolve 
these fears and these conflicts the traditional way —in complicity with 


Conditions will not wait for us. With the decline of imperialism the 
ability to expand and export basic contradictions becomes less available to 
the US rulers and this means continual crisis and hardship for people here. 
We are looking at two of these crises to analyze their origins and their 
consequences for the imperialists and for the people. 


In the wake of the US defeat in Vietnam comes an unprecendented 
governmental crisis. Watergate is a magnificent victory of the struggles of the 
60's, a reflection of the war coming home. Crisis chases crisis as state leaders 
search for a consolidating strategy. The turmoil is indicative of serious and 
fatal weaknesses in the system. It offers an unparalleled opportunity for 
revolutionary and popular movements. 

Nixon has been caught with the chicken in his hand. His known 
crimes include sabotage of elections, cover-up of the sabotage, land deals, 
income tax evasions, tampering with the evidence, giant swindles and fixes 
—not to mention his secret wars abroad and at home, campaigns of 
race-hatred, the air war against Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and violation 
of the Ceasefire Agreement. 

Nixon's re-election was a low point. But the unanimity of his 
election was momentary and hollow; it began crumbling immediately. The 
terror bombing of Hanoi was carried out just before the Paris Peace 


Agreement which acknowledged LS defeat and marked ;i ina|or uclur\ tor 
the Vietnamese people along t lie road lo independence and liberalitm: Ihe 
assassination of Amilear Cabral, \friean liberation leader and lie, id <ji' the 
PAJCC was carried out by mercenaries of I H-anncd Portugal on [lie eve of 
the declaration of the. independence of Guinc-Bi^aii. \i\on: [iolh deadb 
powerful and seriously weakened. Eighteen mon[h> later lie ha> become the 
symbol of de- legitimized bourgeois ideology, a two-ltit criminal, host to a 
den of monopolies and crew-cut thieves. 

Mison has always been a political leader or' counter-revolution and 
tighter control of the colonies —an executioner of the Rosenbergs. Ihe men 
at Attica, the students at Jackson and Kent. His national military alert 
during the J 973 October War in the Mideast shows the fantastic lengths to 
which he will carry the world to the brink of war. His Christmas bombing of 
Hanoi was the horrible proof that his policies are based on terror against the 
people. His fundamental program is militarization —that is, enormous 
technological and military spending for war and arms abroad and police 
control at. home. 

Watergate is a domestic reflection of the empire in crisis. Lor 
Xixon/Kissinger, political unity in the LS around a program of law-aud-order 
for the world was essential in the wake of successful revolution abroad. 
There are historical precedents for imperialist repression following a 
revolutionary success: 

From the >". Y. I'osl, Wednesday, June 6. 1 973: 

Radicals were the target. The Attorney General and his 
agents, armed with 60,000 dossiers compiled under J. Edgar 
Hoover, struck quickly. In 33 cities across the nation, 
government men seized more than 4,000 persons, sometimes 
without the authority of a court warrant, in homes, cafes, 
club rooms and taverns. 

It was January 1920, and many Americans feared 
for national security in the wake of the successful 
Communist revolution in Russia, the spectre of spreading 
Bolshevism, scattered bombings in the IIS and troubling labor 

Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer rode a wave of 
popular support with his massive federal arrests of Russian 
immigrants, local Communists and other suspected radicals. 

In order to make his foreign policy of military terror and detente 
effective, and in order to crush rebellion and anger at home, Nixon created 
an extralegal force (the plumbers), a counlerinsurgeney program and 
sabotage operation. He justified these moves on the basis of national security 
and domestic subversion -both cornerstones of Nixon power for over 2r> 
years. His moves to reassert control spilled over against substantial elements 
of the ruling class and the struggle for bourgeois political power was on. 
Nixon's links with, the giant corporations have been put on the line. This is 
the rule in this stage of monopoly capital: the identity of business and 
government. Mir! for now, Mxon's the one, caught in cahoots, on the 

Every aspect of the prosecution of the Watergate crisis itself 
remains it: the hands of the ruling class. The Watergate investigations observe 
gentlemanly limits: they have never explored Nixon's deliberate aggression 
against Black. Chieano, and Puerto Rican communities; they cover for every 
mention of C].\ operations at home. Power in the US is a white gentleman's 

Yet (he crisis run? away. It has become the political expression of a 
proeess thai began in the 60's -the defeat of the myth of American freedom 
and democracy. Vietnam is the crime that plagues Nixon, defines his fal). He 
is a war eriminah The consequence of Watergate is a population wary of the 
hypocritical words of leading politicians, wise to the bankruptcy of existing 


The real energy crisis is the crisis of imperialism. It is seen in a fight 
over raw materials and resources, ft reflects the crisis in empire: declining 
Western control over the economies of the Third World, increased 
competition between capitalist countries, and growing stagnation arising 
from contradictions within monopoly capitalism itself. The system is in 

In order to maintain growth and economic dominance. [.';& 
corporations and government have followed policies which would maximize 
oil company profits overseas; US-based oil companies provided 60 percent of 
Europe's oil and 80 percent of Japan's oil, primarily from wells in the 
Mideast. That arrangement depended on continued domination by the IS 
within the capitalist sphere and over the oil-exporting nations. US 
imperialism lost world hegemony in Vietnam. This loss made it impossible 
for the US to keep dollars afloat on its own terms, leading to such things as 
dollar devaluations and the OPEC embargo. The US oil companies can no 
longer dictate the terms under which oil and natural gas will be distributed 
and soid throughout the non-socialist world. 

From these conditions, the ruling class devised the phony energy 
crisis as a strategy to recapture as much control and domination as possible. 
They deliberately limited refining capacity, and created artificial shortages 
prior to the embargo. The largest oil companies used the suffering of the 
people to rake in windfall profits. Through the inevitable crises of capitalism, 
the giant monopolies grow stronger and seize greater control of the 
economy, political life and the means of destruction. But even as the crisis is 
engineered, it gets out of hand and creates new contradictions. 

The phony energy crisis was cooked up by the giant monopolies, 
the "masters of the oil world" who control the reserves. Tn addition to 
unprecedented price rises, they got a blank check to exploit and develop 
highly profitable energy sources: the Alaska pipeline, shale oil in the 
Rockies, off-shore drilling rights, strip mining, and dangerous, leaky nuclear 
power plants with lethal byproducts. The oil monopolies have emerged as 
energy monopolies -with. major interests in coal, natural gas, shale and 
nuclear power. Finally, the big companies have increased their contention 
with other capitalist rivals in other countries and their power to eliminate 
smaller US oil companies. 


It is the people who are paying for bonanza profits and are 
being forced to bear the brunt of the crisis. Although the shortages were 
created in corporate board rooms, the crisis has become grimly real. The 
people are directly affected in numerous and serious ways. The lower the 
income, the greater (he impact of energy costs, food prices, inflation and 
unemployment. There's always been an energy crisis for Black people —no 
heating oil in winter, no transportation to go to work. Children became sick 
and died from diseases caused by cold apartments; last winter a 93-year-old 
couple froze to death for lack of heat; millions have been laid off jobs and 
suffered hardship from lacking the basic necessities of life. 

People know that it is a political crisis —not: a natural catastrophe, 
not a shortage of fuel, not a technical failure. The socialist nations are not in 
an energy crisis —this is a capitalist crisis of profit and power. 

At the same time as the US people are urged to turn down their 
thermostats, the US 6th and 7lh naval fleets alone consume one third of the 
Arab oil used by the US. Military consumption of energy is astronomical; the 
energy consumed in the production of atomic bombs and materials for the 
stockpile, in war reserves of jet fuel, or in the flying time of B-32's should be 
the first to go. Nixon's policy of Vietnamization depends on substituting 
energy (fuel for the air war, the technological battlefield and the Saigon 
military) for US soldiers. Over 20,000 barrels of oil per day for military use 
are supplied to Thieu by the US. 

With u percent of the world's population, the l_:S consumes over 
one third of the world's energy resources. The corporate myth of limitless 
consumption is based on control of Third World resources. The ruling class 
encourages wasteful and reckless dependence on petrochemical products: 
high horse-power and excessively heavy cars, plastics and synthetics and 
nitrogen fertilizers. The failure to develop good sources of energy (such as 
fusion or solar energy) is not based on priorities for a better life, but on 

There are many consequences from the energy crisis: 

—The ruling class has tried to use it to lay the basis for war in the 
Mideast. It is a measure of the strength of the 60's and of the Third World 
nations that warmongering in the Mideast is not an easy out for them. 

—The oil crisis bodes more of the same for other resources. US 
corporations are self-sufficient in only ten of the 36 basic industrial raw 
materials. They are a parasite on the Third World. They will face continuing 
crises over who is to control and who is to profit. Common fronts among the 
raw material producing countries of the Third World are a great step forward 
and a significant challenge to unchecked US domination and plunder. The 
power in the unity of the small. The recent U.N. special session on raw 
materials drew a sharp picture of the plunder of the poor countries by 
imperialism, and the terms of future struggle. Countries rich in bauxite, 
copper, iron ore and other resources are beginning to unite for the 
protection of their natural wealth. The people of the Third World are striving 
to control their own economies and to make full use of their resources. This 
is an upset of US plans for a new stable order. 

—The ecological devastation wrought by the energy companies is 
unparalleled, In Puerto Rico, Indonesia, Angola and Brazil, multinational 
corporations seek new sources of energy at the expense of the sane 


de\elopincn[ oi I In- natural resources or the wishes of the people. The 
plunder for sources of power is emerging as a major threat to the survival of 
rural areas of Ibis country and to ihe continued culture ant! community of 
people who live there. The major oil companies are pushing thru contracts to 
strip mine real on the Cheyenne, and Crow reservations in Montana on a 
scale that would forcibh "urbanize and transform the .Native American 
population and denude the landscape. Only a tiny proportion of the 1.8 
million acres of land damaged by stripping in the West and Appalachia have 
been reclaimed to any extent at all. The rape\)f Hopi and Navajo lands to 
create giant power plants in Four Corners, New Mexico, is creating pollution 
greater than in Los Angeles. The AEC has pushed thru a massive program to 
build 500 to 700 new nuclear power plants in partnership with corporations 
like Westinghouse and Rockwell, These breeder reactors are expensive, 
dangerous, and deadly to adjoining waters and communities. They now 
threaten every major New England river, the Great Lakes and the oceans 

— Industr) passed on its problems by increasing unemployment, 
laying off thousands, and driving up the prices of everything. Women and 
Black workers, last hired and first fired, suffer the most immediately. 

These disruptions to an already stagnating economy have resulted 
in a serious attack on the basic necessities for masses of people. For the lives 
of Third World people, families headed by women, and the people who are- 
dirt poor, it is violent aggression. Inflation is deadly for old people, for 
families on welfare and for I he great number of underemployed. But the 
crisis cannot be contained among the dispossesed -it attacks the common 
family, the working person, 

, —A severe food crisis reflected in the rise of food prices and massive 
food shortages is emerging. In the wealthiest country in the world, there is a 
cost of living and it is beyond the reach of millions of people. Inflation and 
the impact of the energy crisis will be used to drive up this cost to live, 
especially food prices. There has always been starvation and malnutrition for 
many in the US -the human consequences of food for profit. As food prices 
climb and real incomes decline, broad sectors of the population are beset by 
mounting debt, loss of savings, fear for jobs. 

Food production, distribution, and agricultural land have become 
concentrated in monopolies ((jailer! agribusiness) since World War II, with 
reliance on fertilizers, pesticides, new methods of drying and storage and 
mechanization that consume enormous amounts of energy. Agribusiness 
rests on the super-exploitation of farm workers and share-croppers on the 
one hand, and giant programs of government subsidies (welfare for the rich) 
to keep vast stretches of fertile land deliberately unproductive. This is to 
keep prices up in the US. H amounts to government-enforced shortage, 
malnutrition for millions of people in the US, hunger and starvation for the 
world's people. 

Of all the consequences of the US use of world resources for profit, 
the most serious is beginning to come to the fore: a major crisis in the world 
food supply. What is experienced here as shortages and high prices is 
translated in the Third World as real famine and paralysis of industrial 
development. The US with its mechanized agribusiness lias a monopoly on 
food exporting, and it controls a vast sector of the food-producing land in 
the world. A rise in food prices devastates Third World countries. They must 


depend on the US for food. Agricultural la mi throughout, the Third World is 
turned info a plantation system of "cash crop*;" 1 by imperialism (tobacco, 
rubber, coffee, cotton). Two thirds of all the arable, land in Latin America is 
planted with non-nutritious eash crops — weallh for the colonizers, not food 
for the people. South Vietnam, once the rice howl of Southeast Asia, is now 
forced to import "miracle" rice from the US. Imperialism's irrational use of 
agricultural resources to produce vast quantities of meat to feed some of the 
US population means that the amount of protein wasted by US agriculture is 
comparable to the protein deficiency of the rest of the world. 

Starvation, hunger and food shortages will unleash and sharpen ail 
the. basic contradictions. The imperialists will respond with solutions like 
population control, war, and greater monopoly power. Hut hunger is too 
stark and the conflict irreconcilable. This contradiction could well define the 
coming period. 

Without mass struggle there can be no revolution. 
Without armed struggle there can be no victory. 

Denunciations of the struggles of the sixties as a failure do 
the enemy's work. These surrenders are a live burial of our 
people's great moments, and weaken the future by poisoning 
the lessons of the past. 

As a people we arc saturated with the myth of American 
superiority. As a revolutionary people, we must take our 
place in the human community resolutely opposed to all 
expressions of arrogance. 

Starvation, hunger and food shortages will unleash and 
sharpen all the basic contradictions. 

To say that US imperialism is on the defensive does not mean 
it is toothless nor that its overthrow will come fast or simply. 
In its decline imperialism is exiremely cruel and it will use 
every weapon it has to deceive, divide, starve, torture and 
murdei those who attack it. But its eventual ovenhrow is 





'isjtjjr;,)" 1 'jftia^™ [j'iia- ^f"^ 6! Iti-^ur-iid Cliffwi ^isi'tr - Ssut^janraiui Qaeii}S l'A^, 


Th<a world balance of forces between revolution n.nd 
r.(>(i!iicr-re.vo!ti.tiori has changed in favor of revolution. 

Truong (.liiiib 
January 1.972 

Our method is dialectical materialism. To plan our i-ta'aicgv. we 

make .ui analysis of t.ho conflicting forces, flic underlying contradictions o! 
our lime, aiaMmw ihe\ are developing. 

'Th i-i paper is optimisMc. Thai, is because we are conscious thai the 
must, align ssive and preda!.or\ imperialism that ever exisie;; has bee si 
dej'ci sled h\ the \ ieinamese people. This unique atu.l ama/aug period ot 
histoid is (tie era of !. S Imperial crisis and decline, Tcajav owt a [dllion 
people organize their lives around socialism; today thousands ot gneiTdkb- 
and milium- ui' people in nvcr sixi\ countries are engaged in active struggle 
agaiuM I > imperialism. Independence movements, wars oj' national 
liberation, ami r."\ ;dulionarv ino\ernenfs wilhin the I'."- are engaged in 'he 
deej-uve weakening of ihe i nspire. ll is now being turned [jack b\ I he people 
il lias robbed and plundered. 

L;* imp; ;iaiism ha.-? had its setbacks, stalemates and defeats before, 
but never urn-' -o deca-ive as in Vietnam, The Vietnamese met and finned 
[jack ihc ['iih t'.jiTe of IS technological and mihtaiv might, and ended the era 
of vmrid liCij/'itHMi-.. I'or [iie IS. Vietnam is a waters he d in the decline of 
imperial! -m —si is ;he defining event of our time. 

I mperiab.-m has dug its claws deepest into (he oppressed and 
euloni/aa! na! :i :■'!-.. and it is these nations who are now (lie organized , leading 
spearnonit m ine enmmon .struggle against imperialism. The imposition ui' 
torei-j; ruie and ion'ign exploitation has created the conditions which ge^e 
iurih io movement.- for national liberation —the seeds of Imperialism's 
( 1 1 • :■■ i c i h lion. These movements have grown and nudfiphed. Crcal 


revolutionary holders have emerged from I he Third World, forged in people's 
wur and in the building of socialism. ISecauso the US in so dependent on its 
colonics (the super-exploitation of the Third World), national liberation both 
here and abroad is a knife to the strategic underbelly of the monster. 

To say that IS imperialism is on the defensive does not mean it is 
toothless nor that its overthrow will come fast or simply. In its decline 
imperialism is extremely cruel and it will use every weapon it has to deceive, 
divide, starve,, torture and murder those who attack it. But its eventual 
overthrow is inevitable. 

As colonized nations liberate themselves, imperialism's ability to 
maintain a stable economy and ideological hegemony over its own people 
crumbles. The decline of imperialism produces continuing crises inside the 
[JS: Watergate, energy crisis, unemployment. The traditional outlets for 
domestic crisis and conflict —(he export of contradictions, racism, war — 
have become less workable. It is certain that another crisis will follow the 
last, that unpredictable crises will color the future. Each separate crisis is 
temporary and able to be rationalized in the short run: but the overall crisis 
and decline of imperialism is permanent and ongoing. 

The crises related to imperial decline create great possibilities for a 
leap iti revolutionary consciousness. 

Throughout its history, (he rulers of the US have maintained their 
power by creating privileged sectors among the people and letting us fight 
over the privileges, in this, their main weapon is white supremacy. N'ow great 
fissures have appeared. The wealth of the world is no longer completely at 
the disposal of the US. Imperialism is faced with the necessity to militarize 
and increase; its control over IS society, especially the dissident and 
rebellious sectors. 

The empire feeds on war. War is necessary for expansion and 
colonial control, but unsuccessful and unjust war loosens the imperialist's 
hold over the home base. As peoples reclaim their lands and their resources, 
imperialism is forced to extract more wealth from everywhere it can -where 
it still can reach in the Third World, from its capitalist allies and competitors, 
and from the US people. 

This is the increasing trend of the 70's: the trend of crisis and 
depression. Our job is to tap the discontent seething in many sectors of the 
population, to find allies everywhere people are hungry or angry, to mobilize 
poor and working people against imperialism. In this process {lie people will 
continue (o ge tic rate new culture and new forms for the struggle to fit our 
particular conditions and time. There are beautiful developments, like the 
rising of women against the oppression of male supremacy, and the struggle 
of young people against alienation and oppression, which are full of 
revolutionary possibilities. We are not alone. The struggles for national 
liberation are the lifeblood of our own; their battles are the front line against 
our common enemy. 

We have an urgent responsibility: to destroy imperialism from 
within in order to help free the world and ourselves from its grasp. Without 
underestimating the difficulties, this is our position of strength. We use all 
the weapons available to us. This necessarily includes mass militant action 
and guerrilla action to lay the foundation for the decisive armed struggle. 

This paper is a strategy for revolutionary anti-imperialism. 
A nti -imperial ism defines our struggle and direction, helps us correctly 


, :fij«!!Hli^!S';£ti£*fc^'H^r ; 

identify our enemy and our friends, and is the necessary basis Tor advancing 
our movement. The strategic weak point of empire today is its hold of its 
external and internal colonies, and it is there that imperialism receives the 
heaviest blows. 

Our final goal is the destruction of imperialism, the seizure of 
power, and the creation of socialism. Our strategy for this stage of the 
struggle is to organize the oppressed people of the imperial nation itself to 
join wilh the colonies hi the attack on imperialism. This process of attacking 
and weakening imperialism involves the defeat of all kinds of national 
chauvinism and arrogance; this is a precondition to our fight for socialism. 

The Vietnamese struggle provides a strategic mode]: as the 
anti-colonial liberation movement advanced, contradictions within the LIS 
heightened, creating more favorable conditions for revolutionary organizing 
and action —we organized our people and our movement advanced; as 
anti-imperialist movement gathered strength and moved forward, this aided 
the Vietnamese who dealt a decisive blow to US imperialism. 

Revolution is a dialectical process of destruction and creation. In 
the US, revolution is intimately bound to the process of defeating 
imperialism around the world. Any conception of socialism defined in 
national terms, within so extreme and predatory an oppressor nation as the 
US, is a view that leads in practice to a fight for particular privileged interest 
and is a very dangerous ideology. Active combat against empire is the only 
foundation for socialist revolution in the oppressor nation. 

Socialism is the total opposite of capitalism/imperialism. It is the 
rejection of empire and white supremacy. Socialism is the violent overthrow 
of the bourgeoisie, the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat, 
and the eradication of the social system based on profit. Socialism means 
control of the productive forces for the good of the whole community 
instead of the few who live on hilltops and in mansions, Socialism means 
priorities based on human need instead of corporate greed. Socialism creates 
the conditions for a decent and creative quality of life for all. 

After a long struggle, power will be in the hands of the people. 
Society will have to he reorganized, toward the integration of each with the 
whole, where people can realize themselves in peace and freedom. There will 
be rebuilding to do, but the tremendous power of creative human energy 
—revealed now in flashes of liberated space and in struggle— will be freed to 
fulfill its potential. Freed from the constrictions, prejudices and fearful 
anxieties of imperialist society, people can be better. Our values are 
collective and communal. Birth and death will be celebrated wilh dignity; 
old people will have respect, children will have rights. Willi (lie elimination 
of waste from our society, all the people can eat healthy food. The cities can 
be real human gardens. We will have to rebuild them, reclaim llic rivers and 
forests, and the dying species. Wielded in the interest of everyone, 
technology can serve us; no labor need be unproductive. Our art, music, 
poetry, theater will interpret and awaken the relationship of onrscbes lo tin- 
world forces, acting on each other. Our culture will be insurgent, celebrate 
people's victories and record the history of the struggle. We will support 
those who are still fighting and continue fighting ourselves. We will awaken 
our sense of being part of a world community. ARM THE SPIRIT 



V)o c\)| ffji^ 



The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bourgeois 
civilization lies unveiled before our eyes, turning from its 
home, where it assumes respectable forms, to the colonies, 
where it goes naked. 

Karl IVfarx 
August 8, 1853 
NewYork Daily Tribune 

Nothing is more precious than independence and freedom, 

H o Chi Mnh 

Many friends see only the difficulties that lie ahead and do 
not see the great victory we have won. The ftris Agreement 
not only speaks to the failure of aggression of the United 
States in Vietnam, it marks the failure of the global strategy 
of the United States to stop liberation struggles of people in 
many places. 

Nguyen Thi Binh 
January 29, 1973 



It is now more than a year since the signing of the Agreement on 
Ending War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam. For the people in the North 
and in the liberated areas under the Provisional Revolutionary Government 
of South Vietnam, the great effort of reconstruction —to "heal the wounds 
of war"-- has begun. However, since the time of the Agreement, more than 
73,000 South Vietnamese people have died in combat. 200,000 remain in 
Thieu's prisons. There are no illusions that final peace has come. The people 
in the liberated zones defend themselves daily against bombings and attacks, 
carried out by Thieu's US-trained and equipped army. 

In the liberated areas of the South, new administrations are being 
set up to build schools and clinics, to comb the soil for unexploded 
anti-personnel weapons, readying it for replanting. Near Dong Ha in Quang 
Tri Province, the people have already harvested their first crop of rice in over 
five years. 

Slowly, the millions of craters are being filled, though it will take 
many generations to move enough soil to fill them all. The towns are being 
rebuilt, since each town of any size was bombed into dust whenever it was 
liberated, "One puts up with what is available" they say, and out of the 
rubble and ruins come adequate structures. In the liberated territories people 
are poor, but medical care is free to everyone, people are learning to read 
and no one starves. The new life represents the independence and democracy 
for which the people of South Vietnam have fought so hard. 

Nixon and Thieu have both failed to observe the terms of the 
Agreement they signed. US military advisors, disguised as civilians, continue 
to advise and organize Thieu's police and army. The US has violated the 
Agreement by sending in new weapons, like F5-E jets. The Nixon 
administration is asking Congress to approve $2.4 billion in military and 
economic aid to South Vietnam. This is an increase of about 65% over what 
was approved for this year. When the money for Cambodia and Laos is 
included, the total Nixon request is $3.5 bi31ion. The administration justifies 
this increase because of inflation, and now Kissinger is arguing that the US is 
"obligated" by the Cease-Fire Agreement to give aid to Thieu. 

South Vietnam is a police state, 90% funded by US tax dollars. This 
aid makes possible the continued rule of the dictator Thieu. The attacks he 
has ordered launched against the liberated zones are major obstacles to peace 
and make possible the re-escalation of the war at any time. 

There is still necessary Vietnam work to be done by the US 
an ti -imperialist movement. A strong movement is the greatest support we 
could give. It would put pressure on Nixon and the government, and it 
would continue to build our own struggle here. As time passes, and 
reconstruction proceeds, the strength of the liberated areas will grow and the 
power of Thieu will be weakened. We can help. We must demand that the 
Nixon government abide by the Agreement and stop aid to Thieu; and we 
must remain vigilant against the possibility of US re-escalation. 

The Vietnamese struggle is the most significant political event of 
our generation. Understanding the history of the Vietnam war is a key to 


understand the present world situation, the present US governmental crisis, 
the present possibilities for the revolutionary movement here, and a correct 
anti-imperialist perspective. This is the era of national liberation, and for 
most of the past fifteen years, Vietnam has been the leading force in this 

The Vietnam War, alongside the struggle of Black people, sparked 
the youth revolt of the 60's and created the conditions for the New Left to 
mature. The relentless barbarity and length of the US aggression became a 
crucible within which our generation learned about US society. We were 
forced to see the horror of empire and the real nature of the monster we live 
in: we "discovered" imperialism. 

Many conflicting forces were at work within the youth movement; 
progressive characteristics were in conflict with reactionary aspects, and class 
struggle took place within the culture. The growing independence of young 
people was a multi-hillion dollar market to be exploited with waste 
commodities. But during the years of resistance —from the Pentagon and 
Stop the Draft Week, to Kent State and massive protests against the 
Cambodia invasion —the strength of the growing anti-imperialist forces and 
consciousness were the "best self" of the youth revolt. We did, at long last, 
get into the fight against the dirtiest of all wars. Slowly, in hesitation and 
confusion, we responded to the heroism, humanity and revolutionary 
principle of an Asian people, led by a saintly and very tough revolutionary. 
Ho Chi Minh. 


The draft was an immediate force that pushed us to become an 
anti-imperialist movement, It was an attack on poor, Black and Third World 
and working-class youth. Seven million young men served in the armed 
forces during the Vietnam War. Few families were, spared some direct 
confrontation with the war machine. At the same time, millions of us took 
to the streets to protest the 1970 invasion of Cambodia. The seriousness of 
our threat was growing. The killings of students at Jackson State and Kent 
State had a significant effect on the youth movement. The war was brought 
home and Nixon was determined to have law-and-order until the US could 
pull off its "peace with honor" eharade and get US troops out of South 

What was happening here was only part of a larger process taking 
place around the w r orld. It took the Vietnamese many years to force the US 
troop withdrawal. It was fouryears between the Tet Offensive —which broke 
the back of the invading army, forced Johnson to step down and the US to 
negotiate —and the 1972 Final Offensive. During that time, the anli-war 
movement reached its greatest strength and the largest and most militant 
demonstrations took place. Inspired by the Black Panthers and other Black 
fighters, many whites such as Sam Melville, Cameron Bishop, the New Year's 
Gang in Madison, and ourselves began building armed struggle. Our 
movement was undergoing profound changes as the Vietnamese people were 
leading the struggle against US imperialism. 


The Vietnamese built international solidarity around their struggle. 
They organized a broad united front against imperialism throughout the 
world. This international front —of which the movement in the United 
States is an important part- consisted of many Third World nations, the 
socialist countries and opposition movements within the imperialist 
countries. Mass anti-war movements grew, not only in the US. but in Japan. 
France. Great Britain, West Germany, Italy and Sweden. 

In an era of intense contradictions among the socialist countries, 
Vietnam fought for a strategic focus on US imperialism as the major enemy 
of the world's people -and united all socialist countries in support of its 

The success of the Vietnamese struggle helped call into being the 
unity of the non-aligned nations. Historic conferences in Guyana (1 972) and 
Algeria (1973), recognized the PRG and the Cambodian government in exile 
of Norodom Shianouk, and sparked the growth of the progressive alliance 
that is becoming an increasingly important force in the world. 

By tying down the US military forces throughout the 60's, the 
Vietnamese opened up the space for other Third World nations to resist 
imperialism. With the bulk of US armed forces in Vietnam, including 70 
percent of the air force at the height of the air war, the US was not in a 
position to send the Marines to Chile nor to intervene for Portugal in 
Guinc-Bissau. Cuba was able to survive, and in turn help Vietnam, This was 
Che's understanding of "Two, Three, Many Vietnams:" a strategy to 
overextend and defeat US imperialism. 


The Vietnamese say: "If the resistance is strong, even a Hawk 
may be forced to withdraw. If the resistance is weak, even a 
Dove may be tempted to invade." 

By forcing the US to use its entire array of weapons, Vietnam 
stripped all pretense from US neocolonialism Anti-US demonstrations took 
place in the Phillipines, Mexico, Lebanon, Iran and Argentina. This showed 
an inherent instability in the US empire. Neocolonial governments faced 
pressure from their own people to oppose~the Vietnam War or face rebellion 
at home. 

The US attempt to win the war exacerbated the US balance of 
payments and produced a monetary crisis. Skyrocketing inflation and 
unemployment at the same time —supposedly an impossibility under 
"modern capitalism"— cut into the living standards of Third World people, 
working people, and the poor throughout the US. 

The deteriorating economic situation of the US has meant that its 
domination over rival advanced capitalist countries is under greater attack 
and is no longer as secure. The growing strength of Japan and the EEC pose 
new conflicts for US imperialism. 

There is no doubt that the present political isolation of US 
imperialism —evidenced in the recent UN decision to declare Puerto Rico a 
colony, the Arab and African stand against US-backed Israeli-zionism, the 
world condemnation of the US and NATO support for Portugal's African 
wars, the admission of the People's Republic of China to the UN, recognition 
of Cuba by a number of Latin American countries— can^be traced to US 
defeat in Vietnam. 


The victory won by the Vietnamese against US imperialism is 
plainly reflected in the Cease-Fire Agreement: 

The United States and all other countries respect the 
independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of 
Vietnam as recognized by the 1954 Geneva Agreements on 

The United States will not continue its military involvement 
or intervene in the internal affairs of South Vietnam. 

The Agreement further states that the United States will dismantle 
its military bases in South Vietnam, will withdraw all military forces 
including advisers, and will not introduce new military personnel, 
armaments, munitions and war material into South Vietnam. 

This is a statement of the goals of the National Liberation Front 
since its founding in I960 —goals that the US government was forced to 
accept and sign after thirteen years of aggression. 


The period of total war and attempted genocide has been defeated, 
and the US now has been forced into a public recognition of the NLF 
program. The Vietnamese victory came at a phenomenal cost to the 
Vietnamese people and their homeland: their suffering was incalculable. Yet 
their victory is of enormous consequence. The Vietnamese people, through 
massive mobilization and the successful carrying out of a people's war of 
liberation, drove out the US invading force, and thereby checked the 
advance of US imperialism. 

The Vietnam War shows that an organized, united Third World 
nation can hold off and eventually defeat the full force of US imperialism. 
This is a major blow to the US attempt to convince, peoples, including those 
within its own boundaries, that it is "invincible." 

The Vietnamese strategy was based on the mobilization of their 
own people. They raised people's war to a new level of heroism and 
humanity, applying the strategy to Vietnamese conditions. The Vietnamese 
say: "If the resistance is strong, even a Hawk may be forced to withdraw. If 
the resistance is weak, even a Dove may be tempted to invade," The 
Vietnamese liberation forces were able to defeat each successive US strategy. 
The Tel Offensive of 1968 showed that 500,000 US troops would not be 
enough to maintain the US in Vietnam, 

Mixon created the policy of "Vietnarnization" —changing the color 
of the corpses. It was a failure militarily, defeated in the invasions of 
Cambodia and Laos, and in the 1972 Final Offensive, It was these defeats, 
capped by the failure of Nixon ''s late December bombings of Hanoi and 
Haiphong, which forced him to withdraw US forces just as the French were 
obliged to withdraw after their defeat at Dien Bien Phu, The Vietnamese 
refer to the destruction of 1/5 of the entire US B-52 fleet over Hanoi and 
Haiphong during the bombings as the Dien Bien Phu of the skies. 

Chapter 1 , Article ].. of trie Cease-Fire Agreement states simply and 
clearly that the US accepts the definition of Vietnam "recognized by the 
1954 Geneva Agreements on Vietnam," This says that Vietnam is one 
country, temporarily divided. 

The full measure of US defeat can be judged when one considers 
that in 1954 the US I) refused to accept the Geneva Agreements; 2) 
immediately set out to subvert them by installing a neocolonial puppet 
regime in Saigon; and 3) fought the longest war in US history to maintain 
two Vietnams, 


The vanguard nature of Vietnamese liberation in the past decade 
means that we can approach the difficult question of class analysis, 
consciousness and potential, by looking at how various groups within society 
were affected by antiwar struggle. This way we avoid an idealist or 
opportunist class analysis, and begin with our understanding, based on 
practice, of the leading a nti- imperialist forces in society. Black and Third 
World people, and young people —especially students and members of the 
armed forces— responded to the Vietnam War in the most consistently 
principled way. These are the forces within society who kept open the 


feople* Public <£ CH'Nfi 




possibility of joint action between the oppressed in our counln and those in 
the Third World. Because of its anti-imperialist perspective, the New Left, 
became a cutting edge for the expression of working-class consciousness and 
commitment. Support for the leading force in the fight against the common 
enemy is the essential and necessary content of proletarian internationalism 
here and now. 

Many organizations pay lip-service to the anti-imperialist struggle. 
But those movement organizations, who, in ■practice, did not come to give 
full support to the Vietnamese struggle as the main priority of class struggle 
made a serious error. This was especially true during the 1972 Final 
Offensive, when —between the launching of the offensive on March 31, 
1972, and the signing of the Cease-Fire Agreement on January 27, 1973 
—the slogan of the movement should have been: "All for Vietnam!" By this 
measure we criticize our own practice during the Final Offensive, when we 
organized under this slogan, but were not successful in carrying out our full 
program, especially at the time of the Christmas bombings of Hanoi and 

This does not mean that organizing among women, students or 
workers should have been deferred so that we all could work on 
mobilizations. It does mean that the period of the Final Offensive was a 
unique time in history, when a specific struggle of momentous consequence 
to the overall weakening of imperialism was in a decisive stage that required 
full and uncompromising will be a great leap if wc can learn to 
identify those crucial times when a particular anti-imperialist focus becomes 
the central strategic task of our movement. 

Today, many of the same errors continue to play themselves out in 
various movement responses to the continuing imperialist aggression in SE 

A major error is to be blind to Vietnam's victory. This mistake does 
not distinguish between victory and Final Victory. There are many victories 
still to be won in Vietnam: the defeat of the puppet regime in the South, 
reunification of the North and South, the consolidation of socialism 
throughout all of Vietnam. But victory in revolution is not like the seventh 
game of the world series. Victory is built for over time, thru a series of 
successes and failures. 

When a variety of quantitative changes achieve a point of 
qualitative change, this can be considered a victory. The defeat of US ground 
troops provides an example: for three years the Vietnamese fought the full 
force of the US armed forces on the ground. In that time there were many 
defeats and losses as well as many victories. By Tet, 1968, the successes had 
become the direction of the war. The Tet offensive was extremely costly to 
the Vietnamese liberation fighters; it was also the decisive point in the 
victory over US ground forces. It was the point at which Vietnamese victory 
became inevitable, and the remaining question became: "At what cost?" 
The Vietnamese demand for this stage of the struggle was for US ground 
troops to leave their soil, to allow the Vietnamese themselves to resolve the 
conflict. This has been partially achieved and is the essence of the victory of 
the Cease-Fire Agreement. 


Another major error is to say that the anti-war movement was 
powerless and failed lo affeet the outcome of the war. These are words we 
hear from Nixon. They are destructive lies. Don't do the Stale's work. 

With an enemy as powerful as US imperialism, every people's 
victory is lo be treasured and claimed. To deny the major accomplishments 
of our movement leaves the people weak and demoralized. In our statement 
"Common Victories'" on the occasion of the signing of the Cease-Fire 
Agreement we said: 

We urge all opponents of the government's war policies to 
allow themselves to seize and celebrate this triumph. We 
welcome the renewal which comes from sharing the 
aspirations of a heroic people. Distrust of the Nixon-rulers 
must not blind us to the light of Vietnam. WitSioul savoring 
our common victories, we become cynical and paralized. 
Expecting everything, we discard anything less. Now the 
Vietnamese can order their unification, plant and harvest, 
heal and teach, in their own time. 

The movement played a specific and important role. Without it, the 
Johnson-Nixon governments would most likely have: 
—launched a land invasion of North Vietnam 
—waged tactical or full nuclear war 
—started a war with China 
—bombed the dikes of North Vietnam 

These were all gcnocidal weapons in the ruling-class arsenal. 
Without a growing anti-war movement, without drastic escalation in the 
nature and militancy of our resistance, they might, have been used. The 
political cost at home for each successive strategy became an important 
point in deterring the use of these weapons. 

A point of great resistance to the war was the May, 1070 youth 
rebellions in response to the US invasion of Cambodia, The uprising forced 
Nixon into an early withdrawal from Cambodia and resulted in legislation 
prohibiting direct US intervention in Cambodia, Perhaps most importantly, 
Nixon did not dare use massive US troops in the subsequent invasion of 
Laos, This restriction aided the stunning victory of the Pat he t Lao —a 
decisive defeat for Nixon's strategy of extending the war throughout 

The anti-war movement can count other significant successes in a 
decade of resistance. Never in the entire history of [he US did the rulers have 
a harder time controlling the minds that pulled the triggers than in Vietnam. 
Active duty enlisted people developed high consciousness about the nature 
of imperialism. Military insubordination, desertion, sabotage, and fragging 
weakened (he imperial army and made it unreliable. As s result, US ground 
forces can no longer be counted upon as a dependable weapon of 
eounterinsurgeney. It is very difficult to imagine sending an army that has so 
many Blacks and Third World soldiers to put down wars of liberation in 
Africa or to side with Israeli zionisrn in the Mideast. 

Military conscription has been abolished. The volunteer army is a 
somewhat futile attempt to rebuild a strong military by eliminating the 


oJe.*-rtl!q leader 

unwilling draftee. 

A third major error is to say that the struggle of an underdeveloped 
country like Vietnam is so fundamentally different, from our own that there 
are no lessons to be learned. The Vietnamese people have taught us a lot if 
we arc able to open ourselves and learn: 

—They have shown in practice how )<j build a revolutionary culture 
based on internationalism and total commitment to (be struggle. In the days 
immediately following the coup in Chile, ihe police occupied a large factory. 
About 20 workers died in combat and a young Vietnamese who had been 
there since June !973, learning (he technology of food production, climbed 
on the roof, filled his pockets with dynamite sticks and jumped on top of a 
police bus as it was coming into the courtyard. He was killed along with 40 
policemen. The Vietnamese have shown in practice how to respond to 
set-hacks and defeat by mobilizing and eonlintiing to build forward motion. 
Victory lies in collective unity, courage and sacrifice. 

•■■The leading role of women in the Vietnamese struggle has been a 
lesson and an inspiration to oppressed people everywhere. The high number 
of women in Thieu's jails —over 100.000— indicates the rede women play in 
the liberation movement. Tens of thousands have been active in the guerrilla 
army. The Women's Union of South Vietnam has been a leading organization 
of the liberation struggle. Elderly women composed the Army of Mothers of 
Fighters, bringing food and medicine to the soldiers on the battlefield. The 
desertion rale of the Saigon army, which soared to 20,000 per month during 
the 1972 Final Offensive, was partly the work of the political army of 
women known as the Long-Haired Army. 

In 1970, while working in the rice fields, a mother and 


ifnrattsffiOEsrassiiiHBaiiEiiN u 

daughter-in-law were raped and killed by US soldiers. This drove a group of 
Saigon women, including Mrs. Ngo Ba Thanh, a lawyer with a Ph.D. from 
Columbia University, to organize the Committee to Defend the' Right to Live 
and the Dignity of Vietnamese Women. Their demands were that the dignity 
of women be respected, that the right of women to struggle be recognized, 
that US troops be withdrawn, and that a coalition government in South 
Vietnam be formed. 

Two Vietnamese women leaders are especially known and loved 
around the world. Madame Nguyen Thi Binh is the Foreign Minister of the 
PRG of SVN. Now 47, she has participated continuously in the struggle since 
she was eighteen years old. At 24 she was imprisoned and tortured by the 
South Vietnamese police under French direction. Today she is working in 
her office in Quang Tri Province. 

Madame Nguyen Thi Dinh, from a poor peasant family, is now the 
Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the army of the PRG of SVN. She was 
seventeen when she joined the resistance. In 1945 she led the first armed 
uprising against the French, and in 1960 she led the first armed uprising 
against the US supported dictatorship of Ngo Dinh Diem. 

—Prior to the Vietnamese victory the US seemed invincible. In our 
lifetime we had not been aware of any US defeat. Of course the US didn't 
win in Korea, but this information was skillfully hidden from us. This 
knowledge affects our ability to conceive of revolution in our country, 

—The Vietnamese organized around the idea that there is a 
difference between the people of the US and the government of the US. By 
so doing they helped make it real, A major reason for the success of the 
anti-war movement here was the friendship extended by the Vietnamese 
people to the US people. 

—The significance of the Cease- Fire Agreement is that the strength 
of people —in Vietnam, around the world, in the US itself- was pitted against 
a handful of men who control technological power and the means of 
violence. A small poor country can defeat the largest richest power in the 
world, provided its people are united and its cause is just. 

What an ominous message for the US empire. What an inspiration 
and comfort for all people. 


People are protest-weary and now some have been put to sleep. They 
believa the media, not only that the war is over, but that the conflict has 
receded into the background. Our movement is very much undermined by 
accepting these lies. Not only does it alienate us from our history and so 
prevent a maturing of movement, but it is also a betrayal of the Vietnamese. 

We cannot make the mistake of waiting until the war heats up again 
to respond to imperialist plans . Our inaction increases the chances of US 
military reintervention. Thieu would fall if the US cut off all aid. 

Support for the Vietnamese revolution can be incorporated into 
individual practice as well as the program of anti-imperialist organizations. 
Whatever work we do, in day care centers, in factories, on the streets or in 
jails, education about Vietnam, support for the demands of the Vietnamese 


people, and resistance to Nixon's aggression are priorities for revolutionaries 
organizing at this time. Vietnam should play a role in our everday work, 

It is true that Vietnam work cannot be sustained if it is isolated 
from the building of the left. However, a left which does not relate to 
Vietnam is not a healthy left. 


Thieu and his administration have been saying that they expect a 
military offensive by the North, but it is Thieu 's forces that are guilty of 
attacking and attempting to. reconquer liberated territory. South Vietnamese 
pilots have dropped US-made bombs from US-made planes all over the 
liberated zones. Thieu is using the pretext of an offensive to cover his own 
violations of the Agreement and as an excuse to get more advanced weapons 
and more money from the US, in violation of the Agreement. His friend 
Nixon may not last as the US president and Thieu knows he has little 
support left. 


In the Agreement, the US recognized the reality of two separate 
zones of administration, two governments and two armies in the South. 
Nixon has since denied this in his statements. In the Agreement, the US 
pledged not to impose an administration or political personality, to respect 
the South Vietnamese people's right to self-determination. But US aid and 
weapons maintain the Thieu administration. We must warn the people of the 
risk of war. 


The US has failed to honor Article 21 of the Agreement which calls 
for the US to "contribute to healing the wounds of war and to post war 
reconstruction of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North) and 
throughout Indochina," 


The Agreement calls for the release of all political prisoners held in 
Thieu 's prisons. But over two hundred thousand people remain imprisoned 
by Thieu for political beliefs and actions. 

At the time of the signing of the Agreement, Thieu reclassified 
thousands of political prisoners as "common criminals" as a tactic to avoid 
their release. Many of these people are leaders of the anti-Thieu, 
n on -communist, neutralist group —the third force in South Vietnamese 


politics. According to the terms of the Agreement, they are supposed to help 
form the new tripartite Government of National Reconciliation and 
Concord. Their release is essential to (he successful implementation of the 

The South Vietnamese prisons and figer cages are built by the US 
construction comhine RMK-BRJ (Raymond. Morrison, Knudson & Brown, 
Root and Jones). Smith and Wesson manufactures the handcuffs used in the 
Saigon jails. Prison officials are trained and their funds are supplied by only 
one source: the US government. 



The criminals of this period are the aggressors, the imperialists, the 
war-makers. Some are corporate leaders who built the sophisticated tools of 
death; some are government bureaucrats who wrote the contingency plans 
for bombing the dikes; (hose responsible for ecological devastation and 
teaching new methods of torture, Some are the perpetrators of massacres 
and urban bombings. The Pentagon Papers give a partial list of the crimes 
and the criminals; (he Watergate revelations and dissection of the Nixon 
organization provides another partial listing. The criminals must he brought 
to justice. 

The heroes and heroines of this period are those who opposed no 
matter how inarticulately, not matter what the medium— (he aggression in 
Vietnam. This includes deserters and draft resisters, those dishonorably 
discharged and those still in stockades, the court marshalled and the fraggers. 
It includes the thousands of G.I.'s who left the service with less than 
honorable discharges. It also includes civilians who were arrested and charged 
with acts of opposing the war, those who lost jobs and sacrificed careers, 
those who are fugitives or still in prison for their opposition. 


Those who opposed the war in Vietnam deserve total vindication. 
Raise the demand: 




The falsification of history of the Vietnam War began years ago and 
continues to this day. The falsification of history is a most powerful weapon, 
used against Black people, working people, women and Native Americans. 
Nixon and his strategic advisors —his coterie of ad men— have generated vast 
energy, spent millions of dollars and used every political swindle to hide the 
true story of the Vietnam War from the US people. 

Nixon and his class are seared because the Vietnam W r ar exposed so 
much. It is essential to them to convince the US people that withdrawal was 
"peace with honor," that resistance to the war inside the US never had any 
effect or consequence on its end, Lhat Vietnam was the "most selfless war in 
history." The barbaric Christmas bombing was murder for propaganda —a 
cruel attempt to cover US defeat with a show of terror. POW's have been 
used, trying to whip up a mood of tinny patriotism and panicky reaction 
where it would be easy to attack anti-war people and justify the most 
barbarous Nixon policies. It hasn't worked, but the battle is far from over. 

We must all become teachers, using pictures, maps, books, slides, 
and newspaper clippings as tools. The true history of Vietnam must be taken 
to the people and fought for. The War to Explain the War should not be 
taken lightly by us; it is taken dead seriously by our enemies. 



The Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam is an 
internationally recognized government, II receives aid from many socialist 
countries. In a beautiful and historic act of international solidarity, Fidel 
Castro visited Quang Tri Province last year, the first head of state to enter 
liberated South Vietnam. In the liberated zones, the foundation for socialism 
is being built. South Vietnam could possibly develop the next socialist 
revolution to occur in the world. Support for the PRG is a priority. 

Life in the liberated zones ; of South Vietnam is organized 
collectively and run for the benefit of the whole people. North Vietnam has 
made tremendous sacrifices and served as the base area for the liberation in 
the South. With time, the liberated zones will grow in size and population, as 
more and more Vietnamese flee the oppression and dislocation of life under 
Thieu. Without the countryside, the cities cannot survive and will eventually 

The liberation armed forces continue to grow and continue to 
retaliate for attacks made by Thieu forces against the PRG territory. Only a 
massive re-intervention of US ground troops can postpone the eventual 
collapse of the Saigon regime. Recognizing this, Nixon tries to ignore the 
PRG, referring to Thieu as the "legitimate" government of South Vietnam. 


The strength of our support for the PRG will affect how long it takes for 
reunification to occur. The revolutionary movement must demand that the 
Cease-Fire Agreement be upheld and raise the slogan: 









We are a people who understand the price of solidarity. Many 
people who are living in comfort, who do not suffer from 
hunger or cold, whose house stays here for a hundred years 
not destroyed at all, they do not understand the price of 
solidarity. But we understand what solidarity means no 
matter how small it may be. In our people, there is a saying; 
a piece of bread for you when are hungry is more precious 
than a banquet when you are better . . . That is why, dear 
friends, don't believe that your actions are so 
ineffective . . , please don't believe here that anything you 
state in solidarity with Vietnam, anything you are doing, any 
minute you spend in the cold before the American 
embassy . . . any poster painted on the wall ... all these acts 
are more valuable for us than all the gold you may give us. 

Le Van Sau 

PRG representative 

December 2, 1972 



Fid^l (a^ra o*)4 ^viame, hUt|«*) Thi 'bin!? 




One does not sell the earth upon which the people walk. 

Tashunka TVitko 
( Crazy H orse) 

The man over there gays women need to be helped in 
carriages and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place 
everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages or over 
puddles, or gives me the best place —and ain't I a woman? 
Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted and gathered 
into barns, and no man could head me —and ain't I a 
woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man 
—when I could get it —and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a 
woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most of 
'em sold into slavery, and when I cried out with mother's 
grief, none but Jesus heard me —and ain't I a woman? 

Sojouner Truth 

I, John Brown, am now quite certain that the crimes of this 
guilty land will never be purged away but with Blood. I had 
as I now think vainly flattered myself that without very 
much bloodshed it might be done. 

John Brown 


JO O O O O: 

A. people's history is a powerful weapon. Jn the hands of the 
oppressors, history is twisted and caricatured. In the arsenal of the 
revolution, it helps us draw the difficult lessons from past struggles and 
identify the resistance which has aiw r ays opposed the enemy. 

Hut history is a weapon only if used honestly, only if reverses as 
well as high-points, accomodation with empire and white supremacy as well 
as resistance to it. are looked at straight. -on. Looking at the "Founding 
Fathers'' as our radical predecessors or viewing our history as all struggle and 
no compromise docs nothing to help us understand our present situation. 

The real history of the LS is almost totally unknow r n to the US 
people. The most important parts have heen buried, falsified, hidden from 
our view. US history is a product of the conflict betw r een European invaders 
and Native Americans, w r hite masters and Black slaves, the colonizing army 
and the colonized, bosses and workers, male supremacists and women, 
imperialists and anti-imperialists. What must be unearthed are the 
possibilities for liberation at any given time, how far these were carried, what 
held us back, what basis was laid for future struggles, including our own. 

This history is not meant to be definitive; it is not a complete or 
chronological analysis of [he US past. We focus on and analyze the periods 
which mark intersections or qualitative turning points in the people's 
struggle. Many critical periods are not examined, others are looked at only in 
passing. This analysis represents the beginning of a process, not its final 
conclusion. With the US government now organizing for a patriotic outburst 
in 1976, this is an important time to begin learning real lessons from. US 
history, preparing to take them to the people. The Bicentennial Period can 
be transformed into a time of action and organizing, demolishing the myths, 
drawing on the examples and the battles which have come before us. 


IN THE BEGINNING: Genocide, Slavery, Racism 

The, true history of the Americas begins with the original peoples of 
the hemisphere: the rise of the brilliant societies of the Mayas and the 
Tollecs, the Caribs in the Indies, the of Peru, the Aztecs of Mexico, the 
Tainos of Borinquen (now Puerto Rico), the Iroquois of the Northeast and 
the Pueblos in the Southwest of the US. This history continues today from 
Latin America to Alaska. 

The first significant European intervention was by Christopher 
Columbus, an Italian in the pay of Genoan capital, who sailed under the flag 
of Spain. Columbus noted his first day on American soil that "the people are 
ingenious and would make good servants." When Columbus returned to 
Hispaniola (Haiti-Santo Domingo), the occupying army he left to oversee the 
mining of Hispanolian gold had been wiped out by the Carib people. 
Columbus attacked again, this time subduing the resistance and beginning 
systematic genocide against the Indians. Jn 1492, there were somewhat 
under 300,000 American Indians living in Hispaniola. By 1512, there were 
less than 14,000 Indians left on the Columbus plantations. 

Whole areas lost their native populations in this way as the Spanish 
colonialists worked millions of Indians to death. Since mines and plantations 
are run for profit, and couldn't work without slaves, the Spanish did two 
things: they turned to the trade in African slaves to "rcpopulate" the 
Caribbean, and they also "rationalized" their plantation system. This was to 
insure that the new slaves would live Ions enough to ''breed." 

In Mexico and South America, the Spanish adopted a system of 
peonage, a form of serfdom, A class of Mestizos, persons of Spanish and 
Indian descent, developed. This system was carried to what is now the 
Southwest and California. 

The British colonies were populated mainly by settlers. A w r hole 
group of dissenters, poor farmers, and workers lied poverty and oppression 
to come to the New World. Many were indentured servants, or chronically 
unemployed. Others were poor people sentenced to long prison terms or 
deportation for small crimes. There were also some rich "gentlemen farmers" 
and mercenaries out for loot. 

There was plenty of land in North America to be had by stealing it 
from the American Indians. In the South, land was suitable for tobacco, 
indigo, rice, sugar eane, and eventually, cotton. These crops required a 
plantation economy and a large labor force. But with so much land for the 
taking, who would labor cheaply enough to make the plantation owners 
rich ? 

Oniy forced labor —slaves. Chattel slaves that is, not people but 
commodities, having no family worth respecting, no personal rights or 
property, bound for life and generations to come. 

Historically, the cultural and social justification of slavery had been 
religious. This was true during the Crusades in Europe and in the Mideast, 
and was carried by feudal Spain into its conquests in the Caribbean and 
South and Central America. Religion was the main ideological control of 
feudal society and early capitalism. Chattel slavery was defended as the 
means of saving the souls of "ignorant heathens" from eternal hell-fire by 


giving them the "blessing" of Christianity. 

When Columbus exterminated the Indians of the Caribbean and 
replaced them with Black staves from Africa, several important changes 
occurred. The plantations grew cash crops for the market and became highly 
profitable. Slavery became the most powerful lever of expanding capitalism. 
The slave trade in human bodies was itself most profitable; together with 
cheaper food and raw materials, this assured the victory of booming 
mercantile capitalism over the weaker economy of feudalism. 

Slavery was never a separate economy in the Caribbean or the 
Southern colonies of North America —it served the capitalist market and 
capitalist production from the very first. Huge profits from the slave trade 
went to the commercial ports of the budding industrial areas of the 
Northeast and New York, In short, the cornerstone of "free enterprise" is 
the enslavement of Black Africans. 

In the British colonies of North America, unlike the Spanish 
colonies, there was a population of poor workers and farmers, competing 
religious groups, plus traditions of dissent and ideas about "free-born 
Englishmen." No matter how idealized these notions might have been, the 
fact of class struggle by a mainly Anglo, Dutch, and German white 
population made the problems of control different than those of the 
Caribbean where there were no Spanish workers, other than soldiers. The 
Spanish Catholic Church, as a unified institution of the Spanish authoritarian 
state, was itself a powerful means of control with its missions, which were 
actually plantations as well. 

In the southern part of the Brit ish colonies of North America, 
conversion of Blacks to Christianity tended to break down the traditional 
barriers between poor, indentured whites and Black slaves. During the 17th 
century, Blacks and whites escaped together from forced labor, intermarried, 
rebelled together in the West Indies, Virginia, South Carolina and Maryland. 
Virginia planters passed a Fugitive Act in 1643 which ordered that runaway 
slaves should serve additional time twice the length of their absence and 
should be branded with an R (for rogue) for a second offense. 

Struggles continued to develop around length of service and 
working conditions. The faintest possibility of unity among the different 
classes of the oppressed terrified the slaveowners. Beeause of this, 
distinctions of color and origin were promoted into an entire system of 
racism. Africans were made slaves for life, while the white servants were to 
be freed after a set period. The planters began the conscious cultivation of 
the whites as overseers, using the myth of the "free-born Englishman" in 
contrast to the African —now deemed an animal, less than human. 

Discrimination based on color did already exist in Europe, North 
Africa ind the Mideast. However, these ideas were still incidental and 
subordinate to concepts of native or foreigner, Christian or pagan, aristocrat 
or peasant. 

Racism as a prime social and cultural dividing line was born in 
North America, out of slavery —it was born out of greed for profit, 
perpetrated by deception and a monopoly of firearms, not of biological 
superiority real or imagined. The notion that slavery is somehow based upon 
racial and cultural inferiority of African and other Third World peoples has 
been deeply embedded into every US institution as the chief means of 
brainwashing and using the white population. 


The importance of this to us is that it begins to focus on too other, 
hidden side of our history that the rulers conceal. 

Racism is not only directed at Black people -it is also aimed at 
controlling whites to keep Black people in slavery, and the rulers firmly in 

The institutionalizing of white supremacy created a structure to 
divide the white worker and small farmer from the Black slave. Coupled with 
the economic bribe of white privilege, it is the corner-stone of US history, 
the rock upon which capitalism and imperialism have been erected. It is not: 
the material bribe alone that is effective; iL the bribe plus self-justification, 
social approval and status, backed up by punishment for non-conformity, 
that does the trick. 

The US invented a new kind of racism and a more horrible form of 
slavery. It has been building on this ever since; and exporting its variety of 
racism to the rest of the world. 

The African slave trade was an unprecedented event in human 
history. The modern slave trade went on lor 350 years. It came to an end 
about 100 years ago. Africans were kidnapped on the West ("oat of Africa 
and brought to the West Indies in exchange for tobacco, cotton, rice and 
molasses. In turn, slaves and the sugar products were carried to the mainland 
colonies, which sentfood to the West Indies, tobacco and rice lo Europe, and 
distilled rum (from molasses) to Africa. The first African slave arrived here in 
1619. By 1770, 4/5 of all colonial exports was rum to Africa. Ten to fifteen 
million Africans were landed in the Americas. More than that —estimates 
range from between 20 and 200 million- died on the way. This was the 
triangular slave trade, the very foundation of rising capitalism. 


Will we let ourselves be destroyed in our turn without a 
struggle, give up our homes, our country bequetned to us by 
the Great Spirit, the graves of our dead and everything that is 
dear and sacred to us f I know you will cry with me," Never, 


In North America, Native Americans prevented their enslavement as 
a people by fighting for their land and freedom. Indians waged protracted 
wars of resistance, holding out in parts of the US until 1 SJ90. In spite of the 
destruction of whole nations, Indian culture and Indian people survive and 
fight to this day. 

Perhaps two million Native Americans within what is now the US 
were killed in battle, died as slaves due to extreme overwork and little food, 
or from white man's diseases like measles and small-pox. They could not be 
captured in sufficient numbers to supply the labor force needed to enrich 
the European slaveowners and merchants. 

When the attempt to enslave Indians failed, the colonizers went on 
to destroy Indian power and seize their land. King Phillip, leader of the 


Wampanoags (the rescuers of the starving Pilgrims -an event ritualized at 
Thanksgiving) understood what was happening. He worked to bring together 
neighboring nations and drive the settlers out. His armies fought hard, 
attacking 52 of the 90 New England colonial towns. Internal disputes, a hard 
winter, betrayals and superior fire-power defeated the rebellion, which ended 
in August, 1676. Many Indians, along with King Phillip, were killed. 

During the colonial period, except at the very first when the settlers 
were weak and couldn't make it on their own, few whites accepted Indians 
as human beings. Some backwood people, a number of runaway servants, 
religious outcasts and dissenters were friendly. Considerable numbers of 
escaped slaves also developed ties with Indian people, notably the Seminoles 
in Florida. 

But, the prevailing attitudes were expressed by the Dutch patroons 
introducing tomahawks in New Amsterdam (later to become New York 
City) to frontiersmen eager to scalp Indians for $100 bounty —a huge sum 
lor those days. This was the origin of the saying, "The only good Indian is a 
dead Indian." The colonist came from poor, depressed parts of Europe, eager 
for land. The desire for land, and with it freedom from servitude and wage 
labor, dominated early colonial and US history. Land ownership was a viable 
resolution of many social and class contradictions. 

In 1763, the British forbade colonial expansion beyond the 
Appalachian mountains. This curbed the land speculations of the wealthiest 
colonialists, like George Washington, Ben Franklin and Patrick Henry. It was 
one of the causes of the Revolution of 1776. 

After the Revolution, the speculators felt free to move into the 
West. Many Indian tribes understood the government's intentions. W r hile the 
American Revolution was fought against the fetters imposed by British 
colonialism on the rapidly developing colonial economy, it was certainly not 
fought in the interests of either Native Americans or Black slaves. Consider 
the following condemnation of King George in the Declaration of 

He has excited domestic insurrection amongst us and has 
endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of the frontiers, the 
merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare is an 
undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions. 

Declaration of Independence 

Washington's troops burned Iroquois villages during the 
Revolutionary War. Not one major tribe lined up with the colonists during 
the Revolution. 

In 1787, Congress authorized the takeover of the Ohio Valley. The 
Shawnee and the Miami, united by thirty years of struggle, fought back. Led 
by Little Turtle, they defeated a 1400-man US force in 1790, and in 1791 
routed St. Clair's army of two thousand. In 1794, Mad Anthony Wayne 
invaded Indian territory, defeated the Shawnee at Fallen Timbers, and 
celebrated the victory by burning every Indian village on the way back to his 
fort. The victors forced the Treaty of Greenville upon the Indians and 
poured in missionaries, whiskey and settlers. But the Indians still did not 


From the Shawnee arose a great American Indian leader, Tecumtha 
(Panther -Lying-in-Wait). He rallied the nations, travelling from Canada 
(Iroquois land) to Missouri (Osage territory 1 * to Florida (Seminole nation). 
He argued for unified resistance, denounced alcohol, and with the help 
of his brother, called for revival of Indian culture and ways. He saw the 
moment as a strategic one: "a last chance such as will never occur again for 
us Indians of North America to form ourselves into one great combination." 
Tecumtha allied with the British in the War of 1812, starting off by 
capturing Detroit. The British betrayed Tecumtha, who died fighting a year 

President Thomas Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from 
France in 1803. This territory, almost equal in size to the entire US of that 
date, was actually the land of the Sauk, Fox and other Indian tribes. Andrew 
Jackson, known as Sharp Knife to the Cherokees, rose to the Presidency by 
winning fame as an Indian killer and village burner. He used charges of Indian 
violence to move into Florida, Texas and Canada. Jackson was a popular 
hero: nearly everyone wanted more land, the only disputes were over how 
best to grab it from the Indians. Spearheading the land grab, the US Army 
established forts throughout the Indian territory, and began offensive 
operations. General Wmfield Scott, a leading figure in US wars against 
Mexico, was responsible for the Trail of Tears of the Cherokees in 1838. An 
entire people were forcibly removed from their homeland in the 
Southeastern US and marched all the way to a reservation in Oklahoma. The 
wars against the Indians, like the war against Mexico in 1848, was a war of 
conquest, a war for land. 

Demands now being made by Native Americans for land for their 
own sovereignty as separate nations challenge alb the terms upon which the 
US built its empire, and this is why the Native American movement has a 
special significance for people fighting US imperialism. 



The growing conflict between the Northern and Southern systems 
of production laid a basis for the Civil War. The Southern system was based 
on slavery and the cultivation of cotton as a main crop. In 1793, the 
invention of the cotton gin gave the cotton industry, and with it slavery, a 
new economic boost. It made cleaning the Southern short-staple cotton 
fairly efficient. More abundant and cheaper cotton also helped expand the 
textile industry in the Northeast, which became the center for 
manufacturing, Cotton cultivation exhausted the soil, which created the 
continuing need for expansion of the plantation system into new territory. 

Up to 1860, the Southern slaveowners attempted to expand the 
slave system, Seaboard Atlantic states turned to slave breeding, while the 
expansionists eyed Cuba and Central America. Northern collaboration and 
compromise aided the planters. The seizure of Texas in 1836 from Mexico 
and its admission to the Union was part of slave-owners' plots to introduce 
six new slave states into the Union. 

But many Northern industrialists and financiers recognized that the 
further spread of slavery would stifle their own ambitions; more profits and 
more political stability could be had by opening up the West and Southwest 
to industrial exploitation and "free farming," The planters won a great legal 
victory in 1857, with the Supreme Court's Dred Scott decision which 
sanctioned the introduction of slavery into any free territory, even against 
the will of the majority of the settlers. 

It w r as the continued resistance of Black slaves and their allies which 
finally brought matters to a head. As early as 1793, Toussaint L'Ouverture 
led a famous slave revolution in Haiti against the French. The Haitian 
Revolution terrified the Southern slaveowners who feared that the example 
would spark similar uprisings in North America. Toussaint's forces used 
drums to communicate with each other; drums were now banned from the 
Southern plantations. Each rebellion spread panic throughout the 
slave-holding South: Gabriel Prossers's in Virginia in 1800; Denmark Vesey's 
in South Carolina in 1822; the Amistad Mutiny led by Joseph Cinque (from 
whom Ruchel Cinque Magee and SLA Field Marshal Cinque take their names 
today) in 1831; and Nat Turner's uprisings in Virginia in 1831. In 1829, 
David Walker, a freed Black man, published David Walker's Appeal, which 
called upon the slaves to rise up in revolution against their bondage. 

Escape was a major form of slave resistance. Black soldiers 
returning from the War of 1812 brought back the news that slavery was 
outlawed in Canada. Routes of flight, twisting networks of paths, developed 
across the Appalachians, up thru the Ohio and along the Eastern seacoast. 
These were the routes of the Underground Railroad, which in the 1840's 
prided itself on being the only railroad guaranteed not to break down. In the 
1850's, something like five hundred Black people a year penetrated the 
South under the most dangerous conditions to lead others to freedom. 
Harriet Tubman —called Moses by the slaves— was the most famous 
conductor. Not intimidated by a huge bounty on her head, she led hundreds 
North without ever losing a passenger. She said: 


"There are two things I've got a right 
to, and these are death and liberty. One or the other I mean 
to have. No one will take me back alive." 




$ ttliifr fair of : %fyivhg£ 


On Tuesday, Match &ih> 1833 at 1.-09 P. X, the folhminff < 
SUtvot vftll be sold at Posters Mart, in Charleston, AC 

Miscellaneous Lots of Negroe*, mostly house servants, soniJ ^-.y \A 
for field work. '* ]. ^ 

Condition*: H eaah, balance by bond, beariaj ixtereat from. Aai* 
,•1 ml*. Payable in e»e to hroywrt to be a«ctu*4'fcy m auoiajage «f tbe 

fTeffroet, and appiviaaw peswonal aecnrity. AtteiioneOT Will pay JpQT 

the papers. 

K valuable Negro woman, accustomed to all kinds of bouse work. 1$ a good 
plats cook, and excellent dairy maid, washes tod irons, Sbebas four children, one 
a girl about 13 years of age, another 7, a boy about 5, and an infaat 11 month* old. 
2 of the children will be sold with mother, tbe others separately, if it best suits tbe 
purchaser. . , .„- 

A very valuable Blacksmith, wife and daughters; tbe. Smith is in the prime 
of life, arid a perfect master at his trade. His wife about 27 years old, and his 
daughters 12 and 10 year* old have been brought up as bouse servants, and as such 
are very valuable. Also for sale I likely young negro wenches, one of whom is 16 
tbe other 13, both of whom have been taught and accustomed to the duties of house 
servants. Tbe 16 year old wench has one eye. 

A likely yellow girl about 17 or IB years old, has been accustomed to all kinds 
of house and garden work. She is sold for no fault. Sound as a dollar. 

House servants! The owner of a family destHbed herein, would sell tbem 
for a good price only, they are offered for no fault whatever, but because they can 
be done without, and money is t needed* He has been, offered SI 250. Tbey consist of ~ 
a fiian 30 to 33 years old, who has beeyrai&ed in a genteel Virginia family as house 
servant Carriage driver etc, m all-wnicb h£ excels. His wife a likely wench Of 25 to 
10 raised in like manner, as chamber maid, seamstress, nurse etc., their rw6">chi)d- 
ren, girls of 12 and 4 or 5. They are bright mulattos*. 6f mild tractable dispositions, 
unassuming manners, and of g*a tee? appearance and well worthy the notice of a 
gentleman of fortune needing such. 

v Also 14 Negro Wenches fang in % from 16 to 25 years of age, all sound and-' 
HCftpable/cf doing a good days work in the house or field. 

■X .• . ■ ■ ■ _ ■ V ~ -■■■ -*sYi-- ' J- ; 

', ■ ■ . - - ■■■■,'.: ■ '."V- A' -J ■*..*■ 





The success of the Underground Railroad resulted in the passage of 
the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, which ordered Northerners to return escaped 
slaves to the South and legalized the practice of vigilantes and slave-hunters, 
Quakers, New Englanders, Permsyivaniaiis, Ohioans cooperated with Black 
people to rescue some 75,000 slaves in this brave episode in our history. 

Black resistance defined the militant terms of the anti-slavery fight, 
and was an example to the two mass movements which grew up alongside 
the Black struggle —the Women's Movement and the Abolitionists. 

During the early 1800's large numbers of women entered the textile 
mills and factories of New England for the first time. Often they found 
themselves at odds with the 19th century standards of factory decorum and 
with the fact that they were paid far less than men doing the same work. The 
first strike by women took place in Dover, New Hampshire mills in 1828. 
Proletarianization of US women in the Northeast, the social contact in the 
mills, was a background for the upsurge in consciousness and protest among 
women which would develop over the next few decades. Bourgeois women, 
recently freed from household chores like weaving, sewing 
and soap-making, also began to chafe at the limitations imposed on them 
because of sex. 

From the earliest days of the anti-slavery fight, courageous women 
like Fanny Wright and Maria W. Stewart defied scorn and ridicule in order to 
speak out in public. Soon Female Anti-Siavery Societies were formed 
throughout the North, trying to recruit activists for the Underground 
Railway, to write, persuade, and awaken their sisters to the tyranny of 
slavery. Women raised both the issue of abolition and equality for women. 
Slaveholders and male supremacists responded with threats of mob violence 
and bitter attacks on the women's character and reputations. Angelina and 
Sarah Grimke, born to a Southern slave-holding family, spoke out on "both 
freedoms" and opposed more conservative elements in the anti-slavery 
movement who were afraid of losing support if the subject of women's 
freedom was raised. 

In 1840, the Anti-Slavery Convention in London refused to seat 
women. Experienced and tireless US women abolitionists were forced to sit 
behind curtains while the main debate went on. Charles Revson, a Black 
abolitionist, and William Lloyd Garrison, joined the women as a protest. 
Eight years later, the women's convention at Seneca Falls, New York, called 
for unconditional equality for women: 

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and 
usurpations on the part of man towards woman, having in 
direct object the establishment of absolute tyranny over her. 
To prove this, let facts he submitted to a candid v/ortd. 

Seneca Falls 

For over a quarter of a century, until a serious split developed after 
the Civil War, the two movements —to free the slaves and to liberate 
women— nourished and strengthened each other. White women openly 
advocated freedom for Black people; white and Black women walked calmly 




John wou^0dy~1ie$ tnnouldring in thegn^i^^t ■■■ ™x**-? ■*■■■ "■-■ 
John B«a|pNKwfy fei a-mo«ldf{«f in th4^0$'}'^ 
John S^mn's body lies a-mou ,J -' — — **?- -"i**'** 1 **- 
B»* t$j soui^oes Tnarcfcfnjj on 


Jf^rt Brown's body lies a-mou^it^^the^^^ 
* ,j %ie weep *fe sons of bondage mtofH ''^"^^ 

tfejMjfJi fee test ftts life in struggling for ^jIswb^ 
lowi is marching on. '-'■ ■'•'" ■"-':■";■■" V- -.^■>"* :n "''iN*~... . 




John Br§g^ : diedthat the slw&ihtgfobef&fr .\--fy. 
John BroW^^ied that the staves Mgktbefiee, :■ ''- ; ■'"'■; 
/ofe» firoiMifaW rfiaf the slaves rtitgjhihefree, 

But his somMies marching on, <■";■ , 

lf«f7-'- * ■ . ■. .<,.\* ■,.;.■■ :., 

He capm0$M$rper's Ferry with his i$ mm-dotmti,- v'^ii/^ '^' ; 
He frigh^0Mmd, Vtrginny tjU sketremb^0irpugHi^/hroughi ' 

They ^^m' for a traitor, thm^^s'^.t^r crew t /pj0:_j^ 

A^trk<t'$ w'Orkitig fonts' are <& remembe^'t^Ms^^^k.-;.^ 
'^'•^i^^wprkh^f^iSiBze aU remembering m^t^'J ^f ■:■§■■ 
'tht-gr&tie pf old John Brown, "$"'.' ■"■"■■ .j^ -^sShv ■^■p-"0.''W 
:; '' " ■ ■ ;■" ' ■■:."■ : -■''.„" .■■^■■.."^'".'.•.. - . V" 1 " •'"'T ^jS*'"^"'*'^*.'" ■ 

' ■&*&■; 

." ,, " i 'aiT.t< : ■ ■■ , - - 

together thru mobs of angry men, openly challenging the paranoia of 
plantation morality with its emphasis on the protection of dependent white 
women. This was a bold blow to racist and sexist ideology. 

Contrary to the lies of official bourgeois history, the abolitionists 
were not abstract moralists, but a social movement based on the urgent 
necessity to end slavery. There were fierce struggles within the movement 
over goals and tactics. The abolitionists were split over the question of 
revolutionary violence, with a substantial number of white abolitionists 
unwilling to accept the terms of the anti-slavery struggle. The leadership of 
free Black people and escaped slaves like Henry Garnet, David Walker, 
Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass and Sojourner Truth consistently 
pushed the abolitionists to more militant stands. National conventions of 
Black people in the North advocated the armed overthrow of the slave 
system while some abolitionists put forward notions of slaves going quietly 
back to Africa. Douglass' paper, The North Star, was a voice for immediate 
emancipation and full rights for Blacks. Douglass argued for militant 
resistance to slavery: 

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess 
to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who 
want crops without plowing up the ground. They want the 
ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. 
The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, 
and it may he both moral and physical, but it must be a 
struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never 
did, and it never will. 

At their best, the abolitionists refused to ignore, and more, refused 
to let anyone else ignore, the reality of slavery. We see in the abolitionists 
the beginnings of a tradition of mass white support for Black liberation; the 
tensions and disagreements within the movement were not unlike those our 
own movement has faced —especially concerning Black people's right to 
direct their own struggle. 

Abolitionists were called fanatics, lunatics and promoters of 
rebellion. Garrison's defense of the Nat Turner Rebellion, in which 60 white 
people were killed, brought the wrath of the slavery forces upon him. But he 
escalated, carrying out a speaking tour of New England. From the large 
crowds which turned out to hear him came the first meeting for the New 
England Anti-Slavery Society held on January 1, 1832. They called for 
immediate emancipation of slaves without any compensation to the 

Simultaneously, a campaign for education and literacy went on 
clandestinely in the South, more openly in the North. The precious and 
outlawed right of Black people to read became a battleground —as it yet is 
today. Prudence Crandall opened her school in Connecticut to twenty or 
thirty Black girls in 1831; this led to her imprisonment, the burning down of 
her house, and attempts to suppress the school. 

Abolitionists like the Grimke sisters, Frederick Douglass, Harriet 
Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Wendell Phillips engaged in struggles for 
prison reforms, against capital punishment, in support of Indian rights, and 
equal rights for women. Theodore Parker hid Black fugitives in his Boston 
church and protected them with guns. 

And then there was old Osawatamie, John Brown. Brown led the 
four years of guerrilla warfare in Kansas, which kept that state from falling 
to the slavers. It was this victory in Kansas which drove the South to secede 
before the anti-slavery forces grew too much stronger. W.E.B. Du Bois 
marked this as the start of the Civil War. 

In 1859, John Brown, with a band of Kansas free-soilers and 
ex-slaves, attacked the Harper's Ferry arsenal in Western Virginia, in direct 
response to the Dred Scott decision, Harriet Tubman planned to participate 
but was too ill to go along. John Brown's courage and sacrifice have been 
maligned as insanity, but he had a practical plan which almost worked. 
Even in defeat, he accomplished his stated goal of polarizing the mass of 
Northerners against slavery. Brown's action helped destroy the slave 
economy of Virginia as many plantation owners, terrified by the accelerating 
number of slave uprisings following Brown's raid, sold their slaves in panic. 

The Harpers' Ferry action was an effective use of armed struggle to 
sharpen an already-ripe political situation. John Brown is an example to us 
of dedication, belief in people's power to affect history and the willingness 
to risk everything in the cause of liberation. 


The Civil War began as a war fought by white people over the 
"future of the Union." At first, the US government ignored Black people; 
there was no attempt to recruit them into the Union Army, they were not 
allowed to enlist. Union soldiers were forbidden to sing "John Brown's 
Body." Slavery, the underlying cause of the war, was a suppressed issue. 

Over time, pushed by its wartime need for laborers and soldiers, 
and by the eagerness of Black people to fight against the slave-owners, the 
North moved toward emancipation. Fugitive slaves, including Harriet 
Tubman, joined the Northern forces. General Tubman led her troops in 
dangerous scouting and guerrilla operations during the war. 

With emancipation in 1863, thousands of Blacks joined the army. 
Before the war's end, 200,000 Black people fought for the Union, often in 
the front lines as shock troops; 300,000 more helped as laborers, scouts and 
spies for the North. Many other Black women and men left the plantations, 
in a general strike against the planters. This crippled the slave economy and 
the Southern war effort. 

The Emancipation Proclamation legally freed four million Black 
people from chattel slavery, Abraham Lincoln acted in order to win the war 
and beeause the slaves were already freeing themselves. This was an 
important victory for Black people and the Abolitionist movement they had 
inspired. A sense of optimism and determination to consolidate and extend 
their gains swept thru the Black population in the South. In the post-war 
Reconstruction period, unique in US history, Blacks and their white allies 
began a remarkable effort to transform the Southern system. 

Black historians —notably DuBois— have challenged the lies of the 
standard history of Reconstruction, which all of us were taught in school. In 
his book Black Reconstruction, DuBois catalogues the tremendous 
achievements of the Reconstruction era : poor and Black people participating 


in government for the first time, voting and holding office; the introduction 
of progressive income tax; the first massive public school program in the 
South; tentative attempts at land redistribution; the temporary 
disenfranchisement of many planters/slaveholders; the abolition of 
imprisonment for debt; the expansion of women's rights in marriage. Black 
people raised the demand for "forty acres and a mule" for every ex-slave, 
since without land reform, emancipation would leave them at the mercy of 
the planter class. This demand was never met because its content challenged 
not only the planters but also the Northern interests who were in the process 
of taking over Southern agriculture. 

Gains made in public education are testimony to the progressive 
character of Reconstruction. At the end of the Civil War, there were no 
public schools in the South; by 1870 there were 230,000 children in 4300 
schools. This was the result of an astonishing effort by hundreds of Northern 
volunteers and abolitionists, with the substantial support of Southern Black 
communities and families. 45% of the teachers were women —Black women 
from the South, white women from the North. The schools they built 
survived the overthrow of Reconstruction, but were later rigidly segregated 
by race. 

This was a time of slow, painstaking efforts by Blacks to build 
working relationships with the dispossessed whites of the South, alliances 
which never developed fully. They were finally shattered when Northern 
capital and the remnants of the old planter class re-assumed control. The 
support of poor whites, working people and other progressive whites for 
Reconstruction also involved tens of thousands of Northern white men and 
women who came South as volunteers —the "carpetbaggers," slandered and 
defamed by later generations. Reconstruction was one of the high points of 
unity between Black and white overcoming white supremacy and racism in 
our history. This is why it has been written out of the history texts. 

The pro-Reconstruction forces had great strength for a while. They 
faded by only one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson after 
impeaching him for supporting the ex-slaveowners and sabotaging 
Reconstruction. Johnson won because the capitalist North, victorious over 
its former and future partners, the Southern planters, was eager to get on 
with the conquest of the West. Crushing Reconstruction involved the 
conscious reinstatement of while supremacy patterns in order to destroy a 
kind of people's unity which, if not defeated in the South, could have spread 
to class war in the North itself. 

The counterrevolution came disguised as the "compromise of 
1877." The word "compromise" should read "betrayal:" Northern 
Republicans sold out the Black population by allowing federal troops to be 
withdrawn from the South, leaving ex-slaves and white Reeonstructionists 
open to the terror-campaigns of the planter class. Some of these troops were 
then sent North to help break strikes; others were used in the final military 
campaigns against the Oglalas, Hunkpapas, Cheyennes and Nez Perce. 

A new power alliance emerged in the US: old and new Southern 
planters were restored to local power by accepting Northern capital's 
domination in both Southern agriculture and industry, This rule was 
enforced by the terror of the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was established by the 

-Ji . ' ^ 



planter class to prevent Black people and their white allies from 
consolidating their political gains. Through the Klan, like the old slave 
patrols, poor whites helped terrorize and control Blacks. Black people were 
forced back into subjugation through mob violence and lynching, Jim Crow 
laws and wholesale disenfranchisemcnt, and white skin became the cultural 
definition of power once again. While there were scattered attempts at 
Black-white unity in these days, they fell apart as many poor whites 
destroyed the basis for genuine alliance by defending white supremacy. 

With the planters restored to the land, Black people were thrust 
back into a new form of slavery -sharecropping. Sharecroppers rented plots 
of land from the planters, and in return, kept a small share of what they 
produced. Sharecroppers provided the planters with the bulk of the cotton 
crop, and had to rent tools and other necessities from them. Black 
sharecroppers were in debt, bound to the planters, enslaved. The 
consolidation of class rule and the crushing of the popular movement 
wrecked the hopes for a new South; the South remains an underdeveloped 
region of the US to this day. 

Defeating Reconstruction was a prerequisite to the completion of 
continental expansion and the strengthening of capitalist power. It was 
accomplished by terror, the lynch rope and treachery. Supposed white allies 
deserted Black freedmen and women. The hopeful possibilities of the era 
were shattered by all the forces of racist order and a decisive step was taken 
on the road to full-blown, modern US imperialism. 


Throughout this time, the US was consolidating its hold over 
Mexican and Indian land. Once New Mexico and California were seized, the 
looting of land and minerals proceeded rapidly. Through the destruction of 
Mexican land titles, Mestizo farmers were reduced to laborers on their own 
land. Mexicans, along with imported Chinese and Filipino laborers, became 
the chief cheap labor supply for the farms, cattle ranches, mines and 
railroads of this strategic part of the West. California provided important 
deep water ports on the Pacific Ocean, industrial sites and gold. 

Northern industrialists had moved ahead with the Transcontinental 
and Santa Fe Railroads. The former was built by Chinese and Irish labor, the 
latter by Mexicans. As railroads moved West, the last of the Indian lands 
were conquered. By the late 1870V the heart of the Indian resistance was 
shattered. Crazy Horse was assassinated by government agents in 1877 at 
Fort Robinson. Nebraska. In 1890, the US Army committed the Wounded 
Knee Massacre, Rumors of an Indian resurgence had been sweeping the 
country. The Ghost Dance, a Paiute prophecy of a return to Native power, 
had taken root at Pine Ridge Reservation. When the US Army attacked on 
December 29, 1890 it was not a spontaneous crime. It was an attempt to 
wipe out "hostile" Indians, to commit genocide against the Oglala nation. 
Over 300 Indians were killed, many women and children —afterwards, 18 
cavalry-men received Congressional Medals of honor for "gallantry" and 


This was the age of the robber barons, the time when Rockefeller, 
Morgan and Carnegie made (hen first stolen fortunes. The normal cycles of 
capitalist production glutted markets and caused a series of depressions. In 
the 27 years between the panic of 1873 and 1900, over half were years of 
depression. As the big industrialists and financiers made their money, the 
people went hungry and were forced out of work. Capitalism squeezed its 
domestic work force to the bone, and the workers in the new Morthern and 
Western industrial centers of the working class raised the spectre of class 
warfare at a Lime when the frontier, the traditional safety valve for class 
discontent . was shrinking. Workers were crowding the cities, forming new 
communities, understanding the need for collective action. 

The era of monopoly capitalism was dawning. The ruling class 
looked to colonial expansion as the solution to economic crisis and rising 
class discontent. 

Revolt within the Spanish Empire opened opportunities in the 
Caribbean and the Philippine Islands, Rival imperialist powers were engaged 
in full-scale contention over the penetration of China, so the idea of a 
strategic base in the Philippines was tempting. 

The Spanish -American War of 1898 was a case of imperialist 
aggression cloaked in democratic slogans. The McKinley Administration at 
first justified the war as an anti-colonial, anti-imperialist support to the 
rehelling Cuban, Puerto Rican and Filipino peoples. The Battle ship Maine 
was sent to Havana and sunk as a final incitement. 

Puerto Rico was seized as a US colony. Cuba was not seized 
outright: it was inslead made a protectorate with control imposed by (tie US 
through ihe hated Piatt Amendment. The US occupied Guantanamo and set 
up a naval base there. This base remains a constant US colonial presence in 
liberated Cuba. 

In the Philippines, Theodore Roosevelt, the Assistant Secretary of 
the Navy, and Senator Cabot Uodge of Massachusetts hatched plots with 
Admiral Dewey to seize Manila and prepare armed intervention to reeolonize 
the Island. Ry the lime Dewey got there, the Filipino liberation forces had 
taken all I lie rest: of the country from the Spanish. A phony attack on US 
lines outside of Manila was staged (a model for the "attack" Johnson staged 
on the \,S Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965) and the 
counterrevolutionary war was on. It lasted six years, required a US force of 
90,000 soldiers at it's peak, and ended with 600,000 Filipinos dead on Luzon 
Island ulonc: Those who lived found themselves under harsher rule than even 
that of Spain. Filipinos to tins day are fighting guerrilla warfare against 
US-supplied troops ami a US backed neoeolonial regime. 

As the war went on, and US soliders died from wounds and 
diseases, the truth about Filipino resistance came out and direct racist and 
economic appeals to workers and businessmen replaced cover-ups about 
fighting for Filipino freedom. William Randolph Hearst made his fortune by 
whipping up racist war fever in his columns. The Hearst papers ran banner 
headlines, arguing that the "yellow- peril 1 ' must he defeated. 

There was opposition —individuals Like Mark Twain, an 
anti-imperialist league in Massachusetts which grew to have branches in 
Chicago and the Far West, some workers' organizations (especially among 
the Koston Irish), plus a few abolitionist and populist veterans. But it is 
important to understand why. in spite of strong anti-colonial traditions going 


back to Revolutionary War days, most people finally accepted this leap into 
full-fledged and open imperialism. 

Class struggle at home was muted by plunder abroad. Many workers 
supported imperialist expansion as an acceptable way to ease economic crisis 
in the US. With the war against the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba, many 
US citizens condoned imperialism in the same way they had grown 
accustomed to justifying genocide against Native Americans or lynching of 
Black sharecroppers. 

The ruling class organized for world empire in the same ways it 
organized for continental conquest. Racism against Mexican farm-hands and 
Chinese laborers was now turned against Cubans, Filipinos and Puerto Ricans. 
Internationalism —the commitment to unity in struggle with other people in 
other lands against the common enemy— does not spring automatically from 
a culture poisoned by slavery, internal colonization and the slaughter of the 
native population. It has to be fought for constantly. 

Moreover, when leaders of the American Federation of Labor, like 
Samuel Gompers, ended up supporting the war against the Philippines, they 
began more and more to sabotage the struggles of millions of unorganized 
immigrant laborers, women and unskilled workers. They looked down on 
these workers as outcasts, and often showed the same contempt for them as 
the despised Filipinos and Blacks. 

The AFL came to represent mainly the aristocracy of labor. Daniel 
de Leon, a socialist organizer, called the AFL the ''labor lieutenants of the 
capitalist class." Based in the highly skilled crafts, elitist, all white, opposed 
to militancy, the AFL even then served as an emergency brake on the class 

Miners, Women, Immigrants, Wobblies 

Alongside this history of accomodation to imperialism, there are 
also the great movements and acts of opposition —the stirrings, the militant 
strikes, the courage of the Hay market martyrs, the women's 
shirt waistmakers, the Wobblies, the Molly Maguires, the Western Federation 
of Miners, the day-to-day survival struggles of the immigrants. In this disloyal 
oppositon, we can recognize our roots. 

On May 4, 1886, in Chicago, a workers' rally was called to protest 
the murder of striking McCormick Harvester employees a few days before. 
As it ended, a bomb was tossed killing one policeman. Seven labor and 
anarchist leaders were framed and convicted and four were executed for the 
act. From this struggle, people all around the world commemorate May Day. 
The city of Chicago erected a monument to police power —the statue of a 
policeman which, until recently, stood in Haymarket Square. 

In the 1890's, miners in Colorado and Tdaho faced the guns of 
federal and state troops as they fought for the eight hour day. After long 
hours in the mines, workers would meet, teach each other to read, argue 
politics, talk about socialism and revolution. In 1892, the Western 
Federation of Miners formed, an organization which led major strikes 


throughout the next decade. In the same year, the Homestead Strike was 
crushed when federal troops massacred striking steelworkers in Pennsylvania. 

In the early 1900's, the labor force underwent a rapid 
transformation as fifteen million immigrants came to the US. Those who 
came from Europe settled in the industrial and commercial centers in the 
East and Midwest, Subject to discrimination, viewed as "unamcrican" by 
much of the population, they initiated and led some of the fiercest US labor 

A movement arose in this period called the Industrial Workers of 
the World -the Wobblies. The preamble to the IWW constitution, written in 
1905, reads; 

The working class and the employing class have nothing in 
common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want 
are found among millions of working people and the few, 
who make up the employing class, have all the good things 
of life. 

Between these two classes, a struggle must go on until the 
workers of the world organize as a class, take possession of 
the earth and the machinery of production, and abolish the 
wage system. 


The Wobblies came from the miners' strikes in Colorado, from the 
immigrant textile workers of the Eastern commercial centers, from women 
workers, from the lumberworkers of the Far West. The IWW challenged the 
narrow and elitist craft union approach of the AFL and advocated industrial 
unionism —organizing all the workers of an industry into one union. The 
Wobblies organized the unorganized and the dispossessed. 

The Wobblies had serious weaknesses —they underestimated the 
need for strong organization, downplayed political agitation and action, and 
never developed an effective long-range strategy. 

Although the Wobblies were never the chief force in the labor 
movement, their influence was widespread. They participated in thousands 
of strikes and actions and helped lead effective mass strikes in Lawrence, 
Mass. in 1912, Patterson, N.J. in 1913, and Seattle, Wash, in 1919. The 
Wobblies refused to sign labor contracts, always reserving the right to strike. 
They advocated revolution and socialism, opposed imperialist war and made 
great breakthroughs in work with immigrants, women and children. The 
Wobblies were among the first organizers to recognize the importance of 
explaining to the children of strikers" the political issues involved in the 
strikes. Wobbly children's meetings helped in keeping families together 
through the long and difficult strikes. 

There were many immigrants among the masses of women who 
now entered the factories. Often, the bosses placed women of different 
nationalities next to one another on workbenches, hoping that language 
barriers and cultural differences would hinder the possibility for unity. 

Women worked as domestics, in the textile industries of New 
England and New York, garment sweatshops, laundry and food services. In 
1909 and 1910, the women shirtwaistmakers strikes erupted in New York 
City. Sixty percent of the workers were women, 70% were between the ages 
of 16 and 25. They worked 56 hours a week in dingy lofts. Women pushed 
the corrupt male union leadership to support their demands for shorter 


hours and decent working conditions. At one pre-strike meeting, Clara 
Lemlich, a young organizer, interrupted the speeches of union officials to 
decry the go-slow attitude and call for a strike. In the two months of the 
strike, over one thousand strikers were arrested. The shirtwaistmaker's 
militancy spurred the organizing of union shops throughout the entire 
garment industry. 

These early strikes confronted the Women's Suffrage Movement 
with the importance of joining the life-and-death struggles of their working 
sisters. In 1914, the Rockefeller -owned state militia burned a striking miners' 
tent colony in Ludlow, Colorado, killing two women and thirteen children. 
Thirty miners were shot down in the ensuing battle. Attica was not the first 
massacre ordered by a Rockefeller. A suffrage leader named Elizabeth 
Freeman led pickets against Rockefeller's Standard Oil offices in New York 
to protest the Ludlow Massacre. 

Strikes often stretched out for long months, involved desperate 
hunger and want, loss of life and many times despair at crumbling fighting 
strength. In these situations, family hardship is tremendous, and the strength 
and fighting capacity of women and children become critical. Organizing 
retaliation, strike support, food, medical help and supplies, fighting on the 
picket lines, persuading scabs not to scab, and holding out, leading, persisting 
have all been done by women. Women held special women's meetings in the 
Lawrence and Patterson strikes. They opened up the struggle against the 
lord-and-m aster attitude of many of the men, demanded that the full 
burdens of housework and raising children be shared. 

The official labor movements were worse than indifferent for the 
most part. When textile workers and the women in the food industry were 
first organized, it was at the initiative of the women themselves or of radical 
left-wing organizers like the WobblJes. 

There is a male monopoly on the decisive post of leadership in 
traditional unions of women workers. Yet there are names to remember of 
great women class fighters: Mother Jones, Ella Reeve Bloor, Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn, Kate Richards O'Hare, Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, 

Women organized and led other social and cultural movements 
parallel to the labor struggles and the suffrage movement. Anti-lynching 
crusades were waged by heroic Black women, with the sometimes-support of 
suffragists and feminists. As summarized by Mary Church Terrell, "Lynching 
is the aftermath of slavery." Between 1865-1895, over 10,000 Black men 
were killed without trial. Pretexts for this reign of terror changed over time, 
settling finally on avenging assaults on white Southern women. These cruel 
rationales were challenged and repudiated by Ida B. Wells Barnett, a Black 
journalist who for 40 years investigated each case of lynching and proved 
that lynching was a systematic campaign of economic and political terror. 
She was founder of the Negro Women's club movement and challenged white 
women's organizations to take a stand against lynching. She later became a 
founder, along with W.E.B. Du Bois, of the NAACP. 

Women like jane Adams and Lillian Wald exposed and fought the 
oppressive conditions in immigrant sectors of crowded cities. Women 
agitated for decent health care, birth control, education and child labor laws. 



Racism as a prime social and cultural dividing line wag bom 
in North America, out of slavery —it was born out of greed 
for profit, perpetrated by deception and a monopoly of 
firearms, not out of biological superiority real or imagined. 
The notion that slavery is somehow based upon racial and 
cultural inferiority of African and other Third World peoples 
has been deeply embedded into every US institution as the 
chief means of brainwashing and using the white population. 

John Brown is an example to us of dedication, belief in 
people's power to affect history and the willingness to risk 
everything in the cause of liberation. 

Reconstruction was one of the high points of overcoming 
white supremacy and racism in our history. This is why it has 
been written out of the history texts. 

Internationalism —the commitment to unity in struggle with 
other people in other lands against the common enemy— does 
not spring automatically from a culture poisoned by slavery, 
internal colonization and the slaughter of the native 
population. It has to be fought for constantly. 


The long struggle for women's suffrage was won in 1920. Women 
organizers worked for almost one hundred years to gain the vote, in the 
process transforming the consciousness of the whole country. They were 
opposed every step of the way. Ineredible effort, militancy and patient 
organizing were carried out decade after decade for (he basic recognition of 
women's humanity and role in society. 

The cost paid for this victory, however, was great. The suffrage 
movement came to include open arguments for giving women the vote on 
anti-immigrant grounds and in order to maintain a white majority (since 
Black women would face disenfranchjsement in the South). Anti-foreign and 
anti-Indian rationales were used by suffragists who posed the vote for 
enlightened, church-going women against the spectre of the coarse vicious 
and ignorant population of the slums. Sisters who knew better began saying 
that the Black question and the question of women were not related. 
Proposals from Black women urging fights against segregation were dismissed 
as "outside issues." The pact between white supremacy in the South and 
suffrage for women was scaled in 1903 on the issue of states' rights, when a 
Women's Suffrage Convention decided that locals could decide on all policy 
questions of membership. This insured that many suffrage associations were 

By 1913, at the March on Washington for Suffrage, Ida Wells 
Barnett was asked not to march in the Illinois delegation, and at the final 
hour, six thousand Black women who applied for membership in the 
National Association of Women's Suffrage were told to wait because suffrage 
was imminent. 

While many other women activists were involved in the militant 
social movements of the day, linking the oppression of women to a class 
analysis of US society, the suffrage movement became trapped in a more and 
more narrow fight for the vote. The victory, when it came, was rendered 
hollow by the compromises with white supremacy that had been made along 
the wav. 

This is a familiar pattern in US radical history. Most US radicals 
traditionally downplayed the Black revolution. "Problems of race" were seen 
as secondary to the "real" class struggle of white workers. One of the earliest 
unions, the National Labor Union, refused to organize Black workers. 
Eugene V. Debs' American Railway Union barred Black people from 
membership. The Socialist Party had segregated party cells in the South. 
Racism in the US labor movement was seldom challenged by the left. 

A test for all opposition movements came with the onset of World 
War I. The First World War was a fight of rival imperialist powers for 
colonics, investments, raw materials and world hegemony. Millions of people 
died while the different governments experimented with germ warfare and 
tested out new weapons systems. Although mosl of (be Socialist parties in 
the Second International supported their own governments in the war, 
there were major revolts against the war by workers, soldiers and poor 
people. The Third International was formed by Lenin in 1919 in opposition 
to the national chauvinism of the organized parties of the time. In the US, 
many individual Wobblics actively opposed the war, although the IWW did 
not take an active anti-war stance. Eugene V. Debs and other left-wing 
socialists, William Z, Foster and other labor organizers, Jane Addams, 
Jeanne tie Rankin and other women activists, all opposed the war. 


The greatest event of the war years, as far as oppressed people were 
concerned, was the vict ory of the Russian Revolution in 1 91 7. 
Establishment of the world's first socialist revolution sent waves of energy 
thru radical movements around the world. The IWW supported the 
Bolsheviks. So did Seattle AFL longshoremen, who refused to load machine 
guns headed for the US anti-Bolshevik expeditionary force in Siberia, It was 
in this period that the Socialist Party split and the Communist Party formed. 

The example of the Bolshevik Revolution was powerful —and the 
capitalist fear of revolution was equally strong. The US government launched 
a major campaign to crush the US left forces. 

The Wobblies came under intensive state attack. Organizers in 
Chicago were rounded up in 191 8, thrown into Cook County Jail to await a 
conspiracy trial which then went on for months, Frank Little, a Native 
American and prominent Wobbly organizer was lynched in Butte, Montana 
in 1917 for his opposition to World War 1. He and Joe Hill, legally lynched 
by the state of Utah in 1915, were martyrs in the Wobbly cause. The Palmer 
Raids hit in 1920, J. Edgar Hoover headed the "radical squad" in the Justice 
Department and made his reputation thru these raids. Ten thousand people 
were rounded up and thrown in jail. Some were tortured, many like Emma 
Goldman were deported. The government whipped up anti-red and 
anti-immigrant hysteria -a climate which led to the frame-up and murder of 
Sacco and Vanzetti a few years later. 

The Wobblies were finally crushed. Beset by internal division and 
lack of effective organization, they were unable to deal with the smashing 
force of state repression. Some of their great leaders, like Big Bill Haywood, 
were forced into exile. 

Gompers and the AFL leadership joined in the anti-Bolshevik 
campaign. They became the mouthpiece for the rulers, the labor wedge in 
the onslaught against US leftists. "Americanism 1 ' was once again the 
watchword —the enemy was the immigrant, the Black, the Mexican, the 
militant woman striker —all the forces of opposition. This is similar to 
AFL-CIO President George Meany's "patriotic" attacks on the anti-war 
movement during the Vietnam War. 

Attacks on the left were aimed at defusing the revolutionary 
. movement in the wake of the Russian Revolution, and also at ensuring that 
US gains made during World War I could be consolidated. With its European 
rivals badly battered from the war, the US tightened its hold on Latin 
America and made aggressive moves toward China. The US entered a new era 
as a major world power. While opposition continued (Debs drew one million 
votes in the Presidential campaign of 1920), masses of people were mobilized 
behind the goal of expanding the empire as the sure way to prosperity. 
William Green, who succeeded Gompers as President of the AFL, argued that 
strikes were no longer needed, that imperialism would bring the US working 
class great economic henefits. This kind of opportunism and national 
chauvinism within the US labor movement helped isolate the radical forces. 

Parallel to these developments was a marked increase in terror 
directed at the Black population. This was reflected in a wave of Iynchings, 
organized attacks on Black communities, and the rapid growth of the Klan in 
the post-World War I period. 

Between 1910 and 1920, over 300,000 Black people had moved 


North and begun life in the cities. For years, Northern industries had refused 
to hire Black laborers, instead relying on the seemingly endless supply of 
cheap immigrant labor. But with European immigration disrupted by the war 
—and following on the heels of a severe depression in the cotton industry- 
Northern labor agents came South to recruit Black workers. 

Thousands of Black workers entered heavy industry. They worked 
in auto, steel, ironworks and the railroads —at the toughest jobs, with the 
least pay and no job security. This process began the trend, which is still 
occurring today, of Black and Third World workers entering basic industry. 
This has now markedly changed the racial composition of the working class 
in these areas and has brought the Black liberation struggle to the industrial 
center of the US. 

Black men also joined the segregated armed forces. Over a third of 
all US troops in Europe were Black. Returning home after the war, they 
were often the target of racial attacks —and they fought back. This trend has 
continued after every US war, as more and more Black men came home 
armed and angry. The cities were tense places, as white mobs assaulted the 
just-settling-in Black people. Black communities defended themselves with 
arms in Chicago and Washington, D.C. In the Tulsa battle of 1921, the white 
mayor ordered an aerial bombardment of the Black section of town. The 
tenacity of the Black defenders temporarily turned back the white civilian 

It was under these conditions of Black people developing new 
urban communities and defending them, combined with a race pride and 
identification with African anti-colonial struggles, that the Garvey movement 
grew strong and a Harlem renaissance of Black music and art flowered. 
Marcus Garvey claimed a million members for his Universal Negro 
Improvement Association. This movement expressed an upsurge of Black 
consciousness of oppression as a colonized people. It also expressed a 
well-grounded lack of faith in the reliability of white allies. Garvey set up a 
steamship company and developed plans for an exodus to Africa. The 
collapse of some of these projects combined with state repression of the 
UNIA contributed to the organization's decline. But its spirit lived on, as 
evidenced in Black nationalist movements of today. 


The myth that the US economy was somehow headed for 
continued prosperity outside the normal laws and cycles of capitalist 
development was rudely shattered by the Great Depression which started in 
1929. From the US, it rapidly spread to the rest of the capitalist world. Only 
the socialist USSR remained untouched. 

Production in the US fell to 60% of the previous year. At least 
seventeen million people were out of jobs at the worst point —over one third 
of the labor force. Piles of food, coffee, grain, beans were burned, dumped in 
the ocean, or contaminated with fuel oil, to get them off the glutted market 
and raise food prices, while millions went hungry. Small businesses were 


ruined; teachers and professors were out on the street; farmers were forced 
off their farms. On the breadlines, at the Red Cross offices, at relief centers, 
city halls, state capitals, federal offices, the unemployed and the dispossessed 
began to fight back. 

Veterans marching to Washington, D.C., got beaten, gassed, and 
thrown out of the city by troops commanded by General Douglas 
MacArthur, on orders from President Herbert Hoover. The Communist 
Party, along with the Unemployed Councils, led demonstrations and actions. 
When evicted tenants had their furniture dumped on the street by order of 
their landlords, members of the Unemployed Councils would organize and 
haul the furniture back into the house, often past armed sheriffs and 
deputies. The CP began to grow and train the organizers who later helped 
establish the CIO. A major campaign for unemployment insurance was 
launched, which in a few years led to the creation of the Social Security 

As industry began to recover, some workers were rehired, the 
unemployed and students began to get jobs. Communists and other militant 
organizers began a drive to transform the existing company unions in the 
basic industries into real weapons of class struggle. Auto, steel, meat-packing, 
maritime trades, lumber, food-processing, were major targets. 

This became the period of sit-down strikes and other direct action 
innovations. In Toledo, Ohio, workers and the unemployed together violated 
a ban on mass picketing during the 1934 strike at Autohte. The 1934 West 
Coast Maritime Workers' strike united several craft unions in defiance of 
conservative AFL leaders. The police murder of two San Francisco strikers 
during the first days of the strike touched off bloody battles in the city, and 
resulted in the San Francisco general strike. 

Black people were hit hardest by the depression. Between the start 
of the depression and the onset of World War II, Blacks lost one third of 
their jobs in industry, and most of their positions in the skilled trades. In 
1940, unemployment rates for northern Black people were 133% higher than 
for whites. In 1935, Black people in Harlem boycotted stores which refused 
to hire Black workers. Their slogan was "Don't Buy, If You Can't Work." 
This campaign led to a rebellion in Harlem in the summer of 1935 after a 
Black youth was shot by store detectives in one of the affected stores. 

In the South, Black sharecroppers engaged in major struggles some 
of them jointly with poor white farmers. The Alabama Sharecroppers Union 
helped organize the first series of protests against the Scottsboro Case, the 
frameup of nine Southern Black men accused of raping two white women. 
Meetings of the Sharecropper's Union had to be kept secret, for fear of 
police terror. Ralph Gray, a Black leader of the group, was lynched by a 
white mob during one of the sharecroppers struggles. The sharecropper 
movement was the most significant upsurge in Black action and protest in 
the South since Reconstruction days. 

This was the era of the unorganized and unskilled —those workers 
long excluded from the labor movement. Many of the striker; were women; 
many were Black. Few were organized into AFL unions. The Congress of 
Industrial Organizations (CIO), led by John L. Lewis, was formed in 1935, 
for the purpose of "organizing the unorganized" in the major industries. 
Communists were at the core of the CIO drives, Thev wer? ^reat union 
organizers, and Lewis was realistic enough to rely on them to crack the 
toughest anti-union strongholds. 


In the next few years, the CIO campaigns won basic rights for 
millions of workers. The CIO opened up its membership to Black people, 
breaking the "whites only" practice of most AFL craft unions. 200,000 
Black workers joined the CIO in the years preceding World War II. This was a 
time of great unity and militancy, of life and death battles for the right to 
organize and picket, for union recognition, decent pay, decent working 
conditions, human dignity. The AFL hierarchy was pushed aside as the 
masses of US workers took centerstage. 

In 1936, workers at the General Motors plant in Flint, Michigan, 
staged a forty-four day sitdown strike. This forced GM to grant union 
recognition and also galvanized the working class throughout the nation. A 
major victory was also won in 1937 in the fight to organize the steel 

By the end of the Second World War, the CIO no longer played this 
revolutionary role. Many CIO unions had enforced no-strike pledges against 
their membership during the war; many CIO leaders, like Sidney Hillman of 
the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, were functioning almost within the 
Roosevelt administration. The CIO also had a Southern organizing 
committee, but never organized in the South, It backed off from the task of 
confronting white supremacy in Southern industry and accepted the 
formation of Jim Crow unions. 

Reflecting their own acceptance of the privileges and ethic of the 
US empire, especially during the period of the World War II economic boom, 
and pushed by state pressure and conservative leadership, many labor unions 
lined up behind anti-Communism. At the 1946 CIO convention, Phillip 
Murray —the President of the CIO— put the finishing touches on this 
corruption by reading Communists out of the labor movement. Communists 
and left-led unions were expelled from the CIO and finally the CIO merged 
with the AFL. The AFL-CIO became an ardent defender of the Cold War, 
and its national leadership now functions, for all intents and purposes, as an 
arm of US imperialism. They no longer represent the unorganized, the poor 
and the dispossessed. 

Roosevelt granted some concessions to the labor movement in 
order to save the system as a whole. The Wagner Act of 1 935 recognized the 
rights of most workers to unionize. This was a victory, although the act left 
out the militant Chicano farmworkers in the West, as well as most industries 
employing large numbers of women. Roosevelt's aim was to use the power of 
the labor movement as a wedge in convincing a sector of the ruling class that 
state regulation of the capitalist system was needed to ensure stability. 
Roosevelt also tried to ally with the labor leadership and bring it under the 
wing of the US government. These were the strategic goals of the New Deal. 

From the depression years until after the Second World W r ar, the 
CPUS A was the main force of the organized left in the United States. The CP 
was in the front lines of countless struggles of the unemployed, the 
homeless, Southern Black sharecroppers, women textile workers -groups hit 
hardest and most ready to fight. Around the CP flourished a cultural 
upheaval; writers, painters, poets were mobilized into struggle and produced 
a unique people's art. 

The CP stressed the special importance of Black liberation. Black 
people were recognized as an oppressed nation in the South (then called a 


.\egro nation) with the right of self-determination, which white 
revolutionaries were bound to support. This was a great breakthrough. 
Communists engaged in persistent battles against white chauvinism and white 
supremacy both within and outside the Party. CP organizers challenged 
racism in the labor movement. The CP did active work in the Scottsboro 
Case, making it a central part of Party work in the shops as well as in the 
defense committees. Many Black people joined the Party in this period: the 
Harlem branch was one of the biggest and most active; Black organizers were 
among the most effective CP spokespeople. 

Communists circulated work of Black scholars and did important 
historical research themselves which uncovered Black and revolutionary 
history, this was like a flash of light. They failed, however, to analyze the 
culture of US empire-building within the oppressor nation, or to deal with it 
in practice. This became a cause of the CP's eventual political bankruptcy. 

In a great demonstration of international solidarity, Communists 
joined the fight against fascism in Spain in 1935 —nearly 2,000 people 
fought in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade there, and many gave their lives. 

The center of the world struggle at this time was the battle to 
defeat fascism. But the US government, along with those of Britain and 
France, wanted Hitler to attack the Soviet Union and hopefully destroy it 
before they would enter the war against Germany. The Western imperialist 
powers had long isolated the Soviet Union, setting her up for >[azi attack. In 
1936, Communist Parties around the world adopted the strategy of a United 
Front Against Fascism. Communists everywhere were urged to unite with all 
progressive forces in their respective countries to defeat fascism and protect 
the Soviet Union. 

In some countries like China, the United Front strategy was applied 
effectively, with the Chinese Communists maintaining their own separate 
identity, program and army. In the US, the CPUSA submerged its identity 
within the CIO. It fought for economic gains, but did not keep alive a vision 
of socialism and revolution. It stopped fighting its own imperialism. This is 
opportunism. While concealment from union officials and company spies 
was sometimes necessary in order to work and organize. Party members 
retreated from doing open Communist organizing in their day-to-day work. 


This made it easier for the CIO to denounce "hidden communists" in the 
witchhunts after the war. 

In 1941, when A. Phillip Randolph organized a march on 
Washington for more Black jobs, the CP refused support in the name of the 
war mobilization effort. This was correctly viewed as desertion by Black 

During the Second World War, the US and the Soviet Union were 
allied in the fight against German and Japanese imperialism. This presented a 
complex situation for the CPUSA. Its response was to abandon almost all its 
opposition to US imperialism. It failed, for instance, to condemn the 
imprisonment of Japanese families in concentration camps onthe West Coast. 
It abandoned its position on the central nature of the Black liberation 
struggle —with Earl Browder (the wartime leader of the Party) declaring that 
Black people had chosen the path of integration. This was part of the CP's 
betrayal of its revolutionary critique of imperialism: a new version of 
American exceptionalism. Browder also declared that "the Age of 
Imperialism has ended" in a speech at the end of World War II. 

After the war, these CP policies were reversed for a while. Browder 
was expelled from the Party. Bui the changes did not last. When Cold War 
repression came, the CP found that its non-struggle direction could not be 
reversed easily. The CP had lost its capacity to fight. Tens of thousands of 
supporters and Party members deserted the struggle. 

The CP retreated further into reform politics. It joined in the Soviet 
denunciations of China, renounced revolutionary violence and began 
supporting liberal Democrats. 

It still has not done a full self-criticism of these positions or of the 
mistakes of the forties and fifties. This means the CP has not changed in a 
revolutionary way and the lesssons of struggle have not been passed on for 
the future. 

We have much to learn from the experience and wisdom 
accumulated over the years by CP workers of that period. The CP in its early 
history was a great advance in the US revolution. Its reversals and wrong 
directions are defeats for us all —that is why the lessons must be drawn 

In the fifties the CP was hit head-on with a vicious campaign of 
anti-communism and counter-revolution. Truman was consolidating a base 
for imperial war, for a massive atomic arms race, for the invasion of Korea 
-by hunting and terrorizing US Communists. It was then that Richard Nixon 
began his political/criminal career with the Alger Hiss case. Smith Act trials 
jailed the Party leadership; for not: cooperating with the McCarthy 
investigations many Communists and progressives were expelled from trade 
unions, lost teaching johs, went underground, and were tormented by the 

A bitter example of the US attack on internal opposition to the 
Cold War was the frameup and execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg in 
the Atom Spy case. Their murder, at the hands of the Eisenhower/Nixon 
government, was committed after a trial in which their socialist beliefs, 
anti-fascist stands, and refusal to falsely inform on friends were used as proof 
of conspiracy to steal the non-existent "A-bomb secret." Hundreds of 
thousands of people around the world stood vigil on the night of the 
execution. The assassination of the Rosenbergs was meant to silence all 


opposition to US imperialism. 

The truth about the Rosenbergs is jusi today being understood 
-another step on the long march toward exposing the unmes of this empire 
and uncovering the truth about our own past. 

«qrp! Qfp, pH^Vj 




When you deal with the past, you're dealing with history, | 
youVe dealing actually with the origin of a thing. When you 
know the origin, you know the cause. If you don't know the 
origin, you don't know the cause. And if you don't know the 
cause, you don't know the reason, youVe just cut off, you're 
left standing in mid-air. So the past deals with history or the 
origin of anything —the origin of a person, the origin of a 
nation, the origin of an incident. And when you know the 
origin, then you have a better understanding of the causes 
that produce whatever originated there and its reason for 
originating and its reason for being. It's impossible for you 
and me to have a balanced mind in this society without going 
into the past, because in this particular society as we function 
and fit into it right now, we're such an underdog, we're 
trampled upon, we're looked on as almost nothing. 

Malcolm X 



We wul simply say that imperialism can be defined as the 
worldwide expression of the search for profits and the 
ever-increasing accumulation of surplus value by monopoly 
financial capital, centered in Europe, and then in North 
America. And if we wish to place the fact of imperialism 
within the general trajectory of the evolution of the 
transcendental far-ranging factor which has changed the face 
of the world —capital and the process of its accumulation— 
we can say that imperialism is piracy transplanted from the 
seas to dry land, piracy reorganized, consolidated, and 
adapted to the aim of exploiting the natural and human 
resources of our peoples. But if we can calmly analyze the 
imperialist phenomenon, we will not shock anybody by 
admitting that imperialism —which everything points to as 
being the last stage of capitalism —was a historical necessity, 
a consequence of the development of the productive forces 
and of the transformation of the methods of production in 
the general contour of humanity as a whole in movement. A 
necessity, just as the national liberation of the peoples, the 
destruction of capitalism, and the arrival of socialism are at 

Amilcar Cabral 



US imperialism is the greatest destroyer of human life on earth. It is 
; whole: an economic, political, and cultural system. It feeds on piracy of 
:he Third World. It colonizes Black and Third World people within the US 
.ind divides, exploits, rapes and attempts to huy off poor and working 
people. Because of imperialism people live in shanty-towns in Saigon and Rio 
-■£ Janeiro. The same system is responsible for the sub-standard conditions 
;f one quarter of the housing in this country. US imperialism is a parasite on 
the Third World, and traps us in a culture of waste and death. For the 
benefit of imperialism we live in a society either at war or producing and 
preparing for war all the time. 

Imperialism has its origin in the necessity for capitalism to expand 
:r face stagnation. Imperialism is therefore the defining characteristic of 
modern capitalism as a whole. Its penetration into the Third World produces 
"he conditions which give rise to movements for national liberation and 
socialism. It is precisely because this expansion is necessary that national 
Liberation movements are a vital blow to imperialism. 

Imperialism is on the defensive today. Wherever people reclaim 
zontrol over their lives and their nation's wealth, it removes another brick 
rrom imperialism's foundation. 



US imperialism is a stage in the development of capitalism -the 
monopoly stage. 

Long before the present age of monopoly, capitalism was born out 
of the trade and commerce and empire building of the medieval world. The 
industrial revolutions of Europe and North America had their roots in the 
subjugation and looting of Africa, India, and the Americas. 

In the US the end of the Civil War began a tremendous boom in 
industry in the North. The years between 1880 and 1900 —in Britain, 
France, and Germany as well as here — marked the transition from 
Competitive capitalism to the concentration of industry and finance in the 
hands of a few financiers and huge industrial corporations. By the turn of 
the century, the most basic industries were monopolized —energy, railroads, 
machinery, steel. The power of the hanks and financiers grew to finance 
modernization and expansion. 

The capitalist countries fought for control of the world in a series 
of long and costly colonial wars. The people of Africa, Asia and Latin 
America resisted. But eventually, skillful manipulations of divisions among 
the people, combined with the battleships and machine-guns of the industrial 
nations, prevailed over the colonies. Africa was divided up among the 
European countries in 1886; in Asia, France controlled Indochina while the 
European powers tried to divide up China; England dominated the 
subcontinent of India. The US, having already seized North America from 
the Indians and Mexico, and staked out its claim to Latin America in the 
Monroe Doctrine, proceeded to grab Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Philippines 
from the weakened Spanish empire, began frequent military interventions 
into Latin America and attempted to penetrate China thru the Open Door 

The laws of capitalist competition, expand or perish, did not cease 
to operate with the triumph of monopolistic finance capital. Actually the 
competition was reproduced on a bigger scale and at a much greater level of 
tension and conflict. Modern arms and technology, thought-control and 
social engineering, try to disguise the facts of oppression behind the mask of 
neo-colonialism. Nevertheless, conquest and domination have become more 
devastating, and even more enormously profitable. 

What causes this drive for colonial conquest and empire ? 

—Large companies are more efficient in exploiting labor because 
they are able to use their great accumulation of capital in developing 
technology. This leads to producing much more than can be sold 
domestically at a profit, since the workers can never be paid enough to buy 
back the product of their labor. This "crisis of overproduction" is inherent 
to capitalism at all stages, but intensified under monopoly capitalism. New 
markets must be found and new areas for investment of idle capital. 

—Colonized nations hold the promise of labor at starvation wages, 
unorganized and easily available. The monopolist goes in search of new 
sources of cheap raw materials in the Third World. 

—The profits of monopoly capital are so enormous that the supply 
of capital outstrips the profitable investment opportunities in the US. This 


capital is invested in other capitalist countries, but most profitable are 
investments in colonies. Whole factories and branches of industry are now 
exported to the Third World. 

-A by-product of the huge profits reaped from the Third World is 
the strategy (and ability) to create labor peace domestically by buying off a 
privileged strata of the US working people, reaching even into large sectors 
of the industrial proletariat. 

By the 20th century, capitalism had reached the stage of modern 
imperialism; since the US is always competing with other imperialist nations 
for power, control of the Third World is not only an economic necessity, but 
also a political and military necessity. 


The condition for the massive development of one sector of the 
imperialist system —the oppressor nation— is the systematic and violent 
underdevelopment of the other— the colonies and neocolonies of the Third 
World. The wealth of one is a product of the impoverishment of the other. 
This has involved nothing less than an unparalleled looting of the labor, 
resources and cultures of the people of Africa, Asia and Latin America by 
the imperial powers. 

This begins with the very first expansions of early capitalism. For 
example, when the British entered India in force, the primitive textile 
industry of each country was at a similar stage of development. The British 
deliberately wrecked the Indian textile industry to force India to import 
British textiles. Vast amounts of Indian feudal wealth were stolenin orderto 
provide what Marx called the "primitive accumulation of capital" in 


England. Indian food agriculture was destroyed to make way for cash crops 
and raw materials needed for British industry. By the late 18th century, the 
result was the first mass famine in India. In England, the imperialists justified 
their rule as necessary to care for the "backward and ignorant" Indians. 
Rudyard Kipling and other imperial writers built elaborate justifications for 
British Empire which rallied generations of English people. 

In Cuba, when the people lived under US neocolonial control, the 
entire life of the island was based on the sugar plantation system. People 
worked three months and spent nine months unemployed. No other 
industries were allowed to develop. This gave the sugar companies a ready 
supply of cheap labor, since the alternative for the Cuban worker was no 
work at all. 

The most modern form of forced underdevelopment can be seen in 
the workings of the multinational corporations in the Third World. 

The rise of the multinationals can be traced, in large part, to the 
post World War II growth of US empire. Over 200 US-based corporations 
could now be characterized as multinationals —that is, major corporations 
having headquarters in one country and a number of subsidiaries in other 

The multinationals have attempted to cultivate a liberal image. The 
Polaroid Corporation, for example, has defended its heavy investments in 
South African apartheid as the "Polaroid experiment." Polaroid claims that 
it pays higher wages to South African workers than local South African 
industry does. But this hides the crucial point: while the multinationals, with 
their enormous amount of capital, research and development facilities and 
highly-organized sales apparatus, can pay workers a bit more, the profits 
they extract from this labor are even more staggering. Salvadore Allende 
pointed this out in his December, 1972 speech before the U.N. Describing 
workings of the two US-based multinational companies, Anaconda and 
Kennecott, he said: 

These enterprises exploited Chile's copper for many years; in 
the last 42 years alone taking out more than $4,000 million 
in profits although their initial investments were no more 
than $ 30 million. In striking contrast, let me give one simple 
and painful example of what this means to Chile. In my 
country there are 600,000 children who will never be able to 
enjoy life in a normal, human way because during the first 
eight months of life they did not receive the minimum 
amount of protein. Four thousand million dollars would 
completely transform Chile. A small part of that sum would 
ensure protein for all time for all children of my country. 

By controlling the copper industry, Kennecott and Anaconda were 
able to determine how much copper would be mined and what price it 
would be sold for. Since copper exports account for 80% of the total value 
of Chilean exports, these multinationals had the Chilean economy in their 
greedy grasp. 

The multinationals would sell raw copper to their own subsidiaries 


in the US well below the world market price; in return, these subsidiaries 
would smelt the copper ore and sell the refined product at the going market 
price. Profits were thus maximized in the US —and minimized in Chile.. 
Before the Popular Unity government nationalized the copper mines in 
1971, no Chilean government could even raise the taxes on these 
corporations, let alone influence their production policies. Any attempts in 
this direction were met by Kennecott and Anaconda with cutbacks in 
production and wholesale, layoffs of copper workers. 

At the same time, the multinationals were able to pay Chilean 
copper workers higher wages than most other Chilean industries. They used 
this to attempt to create a labor aristocracy in Chile, a force to oppose the 
interests of other Chilean workers. AFL-CIO organizers were sent in by the 
US to help organize anti-communist unions. 

Some of the methods by which imperialism creates 
underdevelopment in the Third World can be summarized as follows: 

—The labor of Third World people has been stolen through slavery, 
super-exploited at low wages, and channeled into production meant to 
benefit the oppressor nation. Profits are drained from the Third World. 
Where reinvestment takes place within the oppressed nation, the priorities of 
the corporate powers determine where it will go. 

—The natural resources and raw materials of Third World countries 
have been expropriated by the imperialist powers, particularly the US. The 
recent actions of the oil-producing countries and the copper-producing 
countries are important attempts by Third World nations to wrest back 
control of these resources, and with them, of their own destinies. 

—Diversification of industry, real progress and rational economic 
growth arc prevented by imperialism. Where industriahzation is allowed to 
occur, control remains firmly in imperialist hands and, most often, 
consumer-oriented industries are pushed rather than agriculture or heavy 
industry. This keeps the ''developing" country dependent on imperialist 
technology and aid. 


-Often cash crops —like sugar and coffee— are cultivated at the 
expense of agricultural production which could feed the people. This is a 
main cause of famine and malnutrition in the world. Coffee alone is the 
primary economic life-blood of ten underdeveloped countries. 

This exploitation is maintained only through force and violence. 
Corporations like Kennecott,ITT,Polaroid and Exxon rely on state violence to 
insure their investments and continued profits. 

Most simply, imperialism means super -profits for US corporations 
at the expense of human lives and possibilities in the Third World. 


Imperialism has intensified and spread worldwide the most virulent 
racist practices and ideology. Racism is built into US imperialism and 
imperial culture feeds on and creates racism. Racism is institutionalized as a 
system of control and containment, necessary to enforce the exploitation 
and oppression of colonized people. In the Third World, racism takes the 
form of cultural warfare, the displacement of populations and genocide. 

Imperialism perpetrates a mythology of biological and cultural 
inferiority. As W.E.B. DuBois describes it: 

The white race was pictured as "pure" and "superior"; the 
Black race as dirty, stupid and inevitably inferior; the yellow 
race as sharing in deception and cowardice . . , everything 
great, everything fine, everything really successful in human 
culture was white. 

Imperial control aims at the thorough domination and humiliation 
of the subjugated. Ruthless suppression of the oppressed has as its other side 
the practice of treating colonized women and men as children, attacking 
their integrity and dignity, enforcing dependency with the underlying threat 
of superior force. 

Imperialism systematically subverts peoples' history and culture 
-social forms, language, art, respect for old people- everything that 
identifies a person in society. As with the economy, imperialist penetration 
cuts off the growth of the culture. It distorts the historical development of 
the oppressed people. The old culture is used to imprison the people and 
adapt them to imperialism's needs. As Fanon points out, the goal is rather a 
continued agony than the total disappearance of the pre-existing cultures. 

The displacement of whole populations is another racist weapon of 
imperialism. The Bantustans of South Africa, for example, comprisingl3% of 
South African territory, are "reserved" for the African population who are 
uprooted and forcibly removed to these poor quality lands. This is enforced 
by a rigid Polaroid-provided I.D. pass system. The Bantustans are guarded by 
white South African troops. From them, African men are recruited as a labor 
pool for the mines and factories, while women are forced into prostitution in 
order to survive. 


Another example of the violent displacement of a whole population 
is the complete, destruction by automated war of the society of Lao people 
in the Plain of jars. Every day for five years the US carried out secret air war 
to destroy the social and economic infrastructure of areas governed by the 
Pathet Lao. The people of the Plain of Jars -with a 700-year recorded 
history— retreated to caves and dugout, tunnels as hamlets were razed and 
the land made barren. Finally, under massive attack, the youth of the Plain 
retreated with the Pathet Lao and the remaining people were forcibly placed 
in refugee camps or aiirlified to Vientiane to become peddlers, waitresses, 
maids and coolies, from 1964 io 1969 over one million Laotians were kiUed, 
wounded or made homeless by an officially denied air war. 

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The final weapon of racist warfare is genocide: the systematic 
destruction of a people, their means of subsistence and future generations. 
Today, the native Indian people of Brazil are being decimated by US 
industry and Brazilian government expansion into the Amazon basin regions. 
These tribal people arc" forced off their land, killed by raids and whiteman's 
diseases, and pacified by government programs, their cultures destroyed. It 
has been charged that 100,000 Indians are being eliminated. The US 
government user] genocidal weapons against the people of Vietnam: chemical 
and biological substances it had agreed to outlaw, which burn the flesh, 
cripple future generations, and obliterate growth on the land. This was 
intended to break the Vietnamese and to be an example to other oppressed 


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Even in the face of this terrible suffering the people resist. The 
culture of the colonized people survives reservations, epidemics, air war, 
near -genocide. The culture changes, takes on new forms to meet the changed 
conditions, as Black people transformed the church into a unifying center 
during slavery. Colonialism is not able to destroy the strong basis of the 
national culture. The people themselves embody it, preserve it, carry it and 
hand it down through generations. Imperialism encourages the rejection of 
the national culture and adoption of the garb and forms of the imperial 
culture. The neocolonial bourgcoisc which is created by imperialism often 
"passes" into the culture of the imperialists. But Lhe people's culture does 
not die out. It lies hidden in secret practices and in the memory of the 
people until the opportunity and necessity for struggle calls it into life. In 
the people's culture lie the seeds of resistance and rebellion. 

Movements for national liberation are often born with a popular 
rejection of imperial culture and a renaissance of culture of the colonized 
peoples: the culture contains (he basis on which unity is built. The 
movement to reclaim and take pride in national culture gives vitality, spirit 
and fierceness to the political movement. This is a rejection and defeat of the 
racist tactics of imperialism. 

Racism is imperialism's most deadly weapon for brainwashing, 
controlling and mobilizing the LIS population in support of wars of 
conquest. As Fanon says. "Racism bloats and disfigures the face of the 
culture that practices it." The imperialists create racial identification with 
one's oppressors among the domestic white population in support of wars of 
conquest. They also draw on xenophobia and national chauvinism. 

Racism is the chief justification for US expansion and colonial 
ventures. The imperial army has been rallied with vile epithets since "the 
only good Indian is a dead Indian" and led into conquest by men like Teddy 


Roosevelt who boasted of "killing rabbits" in the war against Puerto Rico in 
1898. Racism is at the root of US unconcern about the indiscriminate 
murder of civilians that is the horrible face of the war in Indochina. To 
William Calley and the perpetrators of the My Lai war crimes the unarmed 
Vietnamese villagers including the children were the faceless and nonhuman 


The systematic domination of women is an underpinning of 
imperialism: under imperialism, the organization and fabric of society —the 
family, production, reproduction, and all social relations— keep women 
dependent and powerless. Sexism is this institutionalized and encouraged 
system of control. In the Third World, imperialism imposes the most brutal 
forms of modern sexism. Women are murdered/tortured, sterilized/raped, 
stifled/ crippled , owned/exploited under the banner of male supremacy. 

Imperialism fosters the most reactionary (backward) aspects in 
feudal and colonized nations, including male supremacy. The more humane 
aspects are suppressed. Thus, for women in the Third World, the most 
oppressive aspects of both imperialism and the former society are fused and 
intensified. Imperialism maintains and heightens the oppression of women 
on a global scale. 

Imperiahsm lays claim to all the natural resources of the colonized 
society, including the women. They are valued and controlled as laborers, 
breeders, and sexual commodities. 

Women are cut from the economic lifeline. Where imperialism 
causes rapid and forced urbanization, women are uprooted into unfamiliar 
cities where there is no economic activity for them -forced to be dependent 
on men. Sex segregation in the work force is encouraged by the imperialists. 
For example, in Africa, the European colonizers taught and recruited only 
men to use technology and to work in their factories. Women were excluded 
from the "modern economy." If the woman is iefl behind to do field labor 
or work on a coffee or rubber plantation, she is also kept at the edge of 
subsistence, subject to an economy based on imperial needs and disruptions, 
where the traditional agriculture has been destroyed. 

The reproductive power of Third World women is under direct 
attack by the imperialists. Population control and forced sterilization is now 
a major US strategy directed against Third World people. These massive 
programs are intended to prevent social upheaval by restricting population in 
the underdeveloped world. They have disarmed many because these 
programs masquerade as concern for the poor peoples of the world —just like 
foreign aid and military protection. 

Who is behind these programs? "Family planning" for Third World 
women is being pushed by Rockefeller, the Ford Foundation, Kissinger, 
International Planned Parenthood Foundation, Protestant missionaries, and 
academic apologists. US agencies in the Third W r orld have made sterilization 
and forced birth control programs a requirement for receiving foreign aid 


money. These programs concentrate in Latin America, parts of Africa and 
India and Indonesia. By 1965, 34% of all women of child-bearing age in 
Puerto Rico had been sterilized. Sterilization and IUDs are carried to the 
villages of Bolivia, Guatemala and Haiti. Women are offered a lipstick or 
$1.50 to be sterilized. Population control has its counterparts within the US: 
Third World women in particular are sterilized without their consent. 

This is not the first time imperialist strategy aimed at the control of 
reproduction. In 1945, Congress almost passed a bill to sterilize all the 
Japanese women in concentration camps within the US. This motion was 
defeated by one vote. 

The same men who are responsible for US policy in Vietnam say 
that overpopulation creates social unrest and revolution. They claim that 
population control is their strategy for hunger. But such a strategy will 
eliminate neither hunger nor social unrest and revolution. People are not the 
problem. Injustice, the conditions caused by US imperialism, create 
revolution. So does the lack of power over our lives and the future of our 

Women want decent birth control. Women want the choice to 
control our own reproduction. Instead, birth control has become a weapon 
of empire —Third World women are used as guinea-pigs for testing and 
experimentation. Instead, we get coils and pills and sterilizations under 
threat of losing aid or a few crumbs of welfare. This kind of coercion, for 
economic and racist reasons, constitutes forced sterilization. It is a direct 
form of genocide against the future, through the bodies of women. 

Imperialism enforces a systematic terror against women. The 
staggering number of rapes of Vietnamese women of all ages by US soldiers, 
taken together, draws a picture of the intimate relationship of violence and 
sex under imperialism. Rape and sexual abuse is the prerogative of the 
conqueror, a means of undermining women's resistance, a murderous assault, 
part of the arsenal of control and domination. The rape of Black slave 
women is one of this country's major crimes. White men claimed the right to 
rape Black women, and any attempt to defend a Black woman meant death 
by the lynch rope. Signs of a deep love relationship between slaves led to one 
of them being sold; mothers and children were systematically separated. 

The invader attempts to "possess" and degrade the colonized 
woman and, thru her, to assault the entire culture. Wherever US imperialism 
goes, its tourism and its armies produce mass prostitution: Havana 
{pre-1959), Manila, Saigon, Bangkok, San Juan. Women are used as sexua! 
objects and discarded. There are nearly 500,000 women in prostitution in 
South Vietman, leading masses of women to drugs and suicide. There arc 
more brothels than schools. In 1969, there were 214 agencies which 
recruited young women from the provinces for 21,000 brothels, bars, and 
hotels. Operations to conform Vietnamese women to American standards of 
beauty became big business —women's breasts were enlarged and their eyes 

In US-built prisons in the Third World, women are tortured with 
the special methods developed by the CIA, AID, and the "International 
Association of Chiefs of Police. There are over 100,000 women in South 
Vietnamese prisons, thousands in Brazil and Uruguay. They are tortured by 
electric shock, beatings, drugs and sexual violence. 

Women have begun to transform their lives by participation in 


national Hbcrahon iniivvrticiit. fhroughoul. the Third World. In striking 
opposihon f.o their condii.ions under imperial and reactionary societies, 
women are over! brewing Elielr oppressors and creating condition? of dignity. 
equality and unity, Vi ^mea have become organizers, heroines, and leaders in 
liberation struggles , . . h t'i d imder socialism. Thev arc organizing (.he masses 
of women ii; {heir counlrit'*. They are opposing backward superstitions. 
patriarchal family rein (ionships, polygamy, bound feet, and traditions based 
on the inferiority of m omen. \\ omen are armed, fighting imperialism. 
building long-haired armies and women's milil.ias, defending the new 
soeiehes tney ;ire nciping i.o build. They arc working, learning to read, 
organizing heait 
and divorce la >,*. 

''.i*rc and child care. They are implementing new marriage 

n-i. :iL\ie;iee> around birth control beneficial to all women. 

Imperialism nan lis origin in the necessity for capitalism E.o 
expand or face stagnation. Imperialism is therefore the 
defining characteristic of smidern capitalism as a whole. Its 
pe- net ration inio the Third World produces the conditions 
which give rise la movements for national liberation and 
socialism, .U is precisely because this expansion is necessary 
Ehel uslifirial liberation movements are a vital blow to 

ImpeviaSism is on Ike defensive today. Wherever people 
reclaim control over their Jives mui their nation's wealth, \l 
removes another brick from imperialism's foundation. 


Sexism is a cornerstone of imperialism's power to organize the 
population in its home base. Competition, sex and violence are unified by 
imperial culture and forged into a weapon against women. In the process of 
humiliating and dominating women, men are mobilized to be the enforcers. 
Sexism, like racism, is pushed to the level of fanaticism to justify an 
otherwise naked grab for wealth and pbwer, and to try to ensure the loyalty 
of the imperial army. GI's are promised manhood and glory. Proof of 
manhood and sexual prowess is built around the weakness of women. Men 
are rallied to kill and not care. An army training cadence goes like this: 

• This is my rifle (holding up his Ml 6) 

• This is my gun (hand at crotch) 

• One is for killing 

• The other for fun 

Our movement must be involved in the fight against the domination 
and torture of our sisters in the Third World. We have a common enemy. The 
greatest male supremacists are the leading imperialists. They are Rockefeller, 
Moynihan, Kissinger. We cannot betray the struggle of women in general and 
our Third World sisters in particular. When we embrace these struggles as our 
own —and merge them with our own— we create a basis for revolutionary 
sisterhood and an international women's movement against imperialism. 


The US has practiced neocolonialism for over 70 years in Latin 
America. But in the context of rising Third World nationalism after World 
War II, it became the main form of US world control. Neocolonialism 
removes the most glaring symbol of the subordination of the colonized, the 
colonial government. It grants formal political independence. At the same 
time, it attempts to guarantee continued dominance thru economic, military 
and cultural penetration. 

Neocolonial economies are subordinated to the demands of the 
imperialists. By the sheer scale of invested capital, multinational 
corporations ean mold these economies to fit corporate needs. 

Neocolonialism trains and supports a bourgeoisie within the 
colonized country —not a capitalist class comparable to the one in the 
oppressor nations, but a class in service to and totally dependent on the 
imperial force which sustains it. The bastions of traditional strength such as 
landlords in Latin America are manipulated and strengthened. Necolonialism 
relies on reactionary and militaristic forces as a bulwark against social 
demands from the people, and plunges the vast majority into greater 


I Mill I I IIIIIIIHI^^^^^^^^^^^Ml ■ ..... _. __. 


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While neocolonialism is a brutal system, it contains inherent 
weaknesses and instability. The battles for political independence in the 
Third World over the last 25 years have been transforming ones, and have 
brought oppressed people a new sense of dignity and power. With 
independence came many hopes for a better life -something which 
neocolonialism has not provided. These popular measures have in the past 
forced elected governments like Goulart in Brazil or Bosch in the 
Dominican Republic to break with the various forms of US domination. 

The most serious death-blow dealt neocolonialism in Latin America 
was the overthrow of the Batista regime in 1959 and the successful Cuban 
Revolution. From the landing of the Granma to the Bay of Pigs to the 
building and defense of socialism today, Fidel Castro has been the heroic and 
wise revolutionary leading the fight. The "first free territory of the 
Americas" has been a continuing inspiration to the people of Latin America 
and the US. 

The Cuban Revolution, the only socialist revolution in our 
hemisphere, has grown and consolidated forfifteen years.The revolution has 
transformed people's daily lives, eliminating the scourges of the Latin 
American continent: illiteracy, staggering rates of infant mortality and 
epidemic diseases, mass hunger and malnutrition, inadequate housing and 
unemployment. It has created popular forms of organizing revolutionary 
justice, taking care of people's neighborhoods and communities, and more 
recently, building a worker's movement to deepen mass participation at all 
levels of decision-making connected with work. The revolution has launched 
an offensive to transform education and culture into powerful revolutionary 


Cuba is a beacon for everyone in its principled and dedicated 
support for international revolution; Cuba has made terrific sacrifices to aid 
other struggles. Cuba's heartfelt support for Vietnam is unmatched 
anywhere. In Cuba, the whole people mobilized to produce for the 
Vietnamese, and volunteered to go and fight if needed. Cuba's unwavering 
defiance of Yanqui imperialism has encouraged other Latin American 
nations to confront US neocolonial policy and has been exemplary for other 
Latin American movements of national liberation. US revolutionaries have a 
special responsibility to defend the Cuban Revolution and recognize its 
decisive importance to the revolutionary struggle in the Americas. We 
support the Cuban Revolution, 

The US response to any challenge to its rule has always been savage. 
In 1961 , the imperialist Bay of Pigs invasion was turned back by the Cuban 
people, but the US has never ceased in its attemtps to arm and build a 
para-military force to hurl against Cuba. The US-enforced blockade around 
Cuba as well as the boycott of Cuban sugar are the major attempts to 
destroy the revolution thru economic aggression which must be opposed and 
defeated by our movement. Repeated US-backed plots to assassinate Premier 
Fidel Castro by the participants and forces involved in Watergate have been 


Throughout Latin America the old neocolonial facades of 
"democratic alternatives' 1 to communism have been overthrown, to be 
replaced by openly fascist dictatorships: Banzer in Bolivia, Pinochet in Chile, 
the junta in Brazil, Bordaberry in Uruguay. These counterrevolutions are the 
work of the Nixon -Kissinger Doctrine. The Nixon-Kissinger Doctrine means 
the export of fascism to the Third World. Its theme is that the US will arm, 
train, finance and support counterrevolution and reaction without 
necessarily intervening directly with ground troops in every area in which its 
interests are threatened. The price of the Vietnam War was too high to pay 
again and again. This strategy has the broad backing of the ruling class and is 
not affected by governmental crisis, domestic differences or Watergate, 

Neocolonialism and the Nixon-Kissinger Doctrine are ultimately 
based on violence. The US has the most colossal military establishemt the 
world has ever seen. Over 3000 bases encircle the globe, B-SS's are always in 
the air, and a frightening nuclear arsenal stands ready. There are 600,000 US 
troops stationed abroad, even when the US is not engaged in a war. This is 
the ultimate threat behind each policy. 

The US has been building a strong network of imperialist alliances 
linking Western Europe and Japan with a series of fascist governments, 
reactionary "junior partners" in imperialism. Thieu, the Greek junta, the 
Brazilian dictators, Lon Nol, the Shah of Iran, the governments of Rhodesia 
and South Africa are all US-backed regimes, armed against insurgents in their 
own countries, set up to police their respective regions. In Africa the US has 
increased support to Portugal, in the Mideast the US arms Israel and Jordan, 
in Latin America the US and Brazil have backed fascist coups in Bolivia, 
Uruguay and now Chile. In no way is neocolonialism a more liberal or 
enlightened or peaceful system of domination. Neocolonialism is 
Vietnamization on a world-wide scale. 








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Neocolonialism does not resolve the conflicts within imperialism; it 
only pushes the struggle to a new stage. To revolutionaries in the Third 
World, it has made even clearer the necessity to carry the struggle to its final 

What does national liberation mean in the world today ? 

Amilcar Cahral provides a clear formulation: 

The liberation struggle is a revolution ... it does not finish at 
the moment when the national flag is raised and the national 
anthem played. A nation's national liberation is the recovery 
of the historical personality of that nation . . . National 
liberation exists when, and only when, the national 
productive forces are completely freed of aU kinds of foreign 

Cabral spoke as an African revolutionary who had watched African 
independence turn into its opposite under neeolonialism. He argued that the 
immediate enemy of the people of Guine-Bissau was Portugal, hut that the 
fight was against neocolonialism as well. 

We support progressive nationalist, policies or action w r hich weaken 
the US empire, like Peru's nationalization of the Exxon and Cerro 
corporations and the Arab oil boycott. These developments are in opposition 
to imperialism. However, the movements we look to for leadership are those 
which fight for the complete freedom of the historical and productive forces 
from foreign domination, controlled by and for the masses of the country. 


Since the ceasefire in Vietnam the center of world conflict is not so 
clearly focused. Many contradictions are coming to the fore. The 
contradiction between the Soviet l.nion and China is deepening. We arc 
studying these issues and offer the following points: 

— National liberation movements and the socialist nations of the 
Third World are today at the center of world history, providing concrete 
leadership and inspiration to the world struggle. They are faced with the 
awesome responsibility of consolidating their victories and advancing in the 
face of predatory designs of US imperialism. They have the right to full 
self-determination; this includes the right to take aid from anyone. They 
are the best judges of their own needs and the realities of building socialism. 

The Soviet Union has given substantial aid to liberation movements 
and to socialist countries like Cuba and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam 
(DRV). Soviet military aid to the Vietnamese was put to the best possible 
use — shooting down I.S bomber planes. 

It is national chauvinism for US revolutionaries to attack a socialist 
country like Cuba for accepting Soviet aid. The same attack has been made 
in the past on the DRV, These "left-sounding" positions display arrogance 
toward the struggles of Third World nations. 


— The Chinese Revolution is a wonderful development in the 
advance of humanity. Mao Tse-tung and the Chinese Communist Party have 
made many important breakthroughs in developing revolutionary strategy in 
the semi-feudal, semi-colonial world. The thought common to Mao and Ho 
Chi Minh —that the central revolutionary force of our time is the oppressed 
nations and peoples of the world leading the liberation struggle against 
imperialism— is the guiding strategic principle of this era. 

The Chinese have followed a popularly-based revolutionary course, 
educating and involving hundreds of millions of people in discussion and 
decisions about the economic and political direction of their country. The 
Chinese have also warred on their own bureaucracy. By launching the 
Cultural Revolution in 1966, they found a way to combat the rebirth of an 
exploitative class in China. The Chinese example of continuing the class 
struggle within socialist society has revolutionized people's vision of the 
possibilities of socialism. 

China, a poor country, has given important political and material 
assistance to the Vietnamese. In 1950, Chinese volunteers joined the people 
of Korea to halt the US invasion. China is now helping Tanzania and Zambia 
build the Great Uhuru railroad, a big step in freeing Southern Africa from 
dependence on the transport system of the racist governments in Rhodesia 
and Mozambique. 

— The policy of the government of the USSR, reflected in its 
ideological stands as well as its state practice, contains conflicting tendencies. 
While aiding many liberation movements, it has , since Krushchev's 20th 
Party Congress speech in 1956, put forward the revisionist line !hat 
"peaceful transition to socialism" is the correct path to revolution. This has 
been an argument against taking up arms to fight and has forced 
revolutionaries around the world, including ourselves, to break sharply with 
Communist Parties which adopted this line. 

— Nixon and Kissinger have used detente as a public relations device 
to mystify the US people about their real intentions. Their rhetoric about 
"peace" in the Mideast went hand-in-hand with issuing a worldwide military 
alert which horrified people around the globe. Nixon used his trips to the 
Soviet Union and China, coming at the time of the massive bombardments of 
the DRV, to attempt to undermine the Vietnamese resistance. Nixon's Lack 
of success should not obscure his purpose. 

Revolutionaries everywhere work for world peace and oppose 
nuclear war. This is a question of particular concern to the US movement , 
since the US is the only country ever to have used nuclear weapons The 
devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a chilling reminder of the tragic 
consequences of nuclear weapons in the hands of the imperialists. 

Revolutionaries in the US have as our main enemy US imperialism. 
Defeating this enemy will require a lot of work —and is the unique 
contribution we can make to the world revolution. 


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Let's look at three areas which have been major focal points of 
world struggle recently: Puerto Rico, Guine-Bissau and the Palestinian 
liberation movement. Each is different; they each involve the full complexity 
and diversity" of the struggle for national liberation. 


On December 14, 1973. the U.N. General A ssembly 
overwhelmingly passed (lie report of the U.N. Special Committee on 
Decolonization. This resolution buries the US claim that it has no colonics. 
It reaffirms the "inalienable right of the people of Puerto Rico to 
self-determination and independence. " 

Puerto Rico became a US colony in 1898. after years of Spanish 
rule. Its people have a proud hislory of resistance —from E! Grif.o de Lares, 
the great 1868 rebellion again?! Spain, to the .Nationalist uprisings in the 
1930's and 1930V. io \he present-day resurgence both here and on the 

The Puerto Ri-ari people are a divided nation, with about 
2,700,000 Puerto Rii-an* living in Puerto Rico and about 2,000,000 living =;i 
the US. This is the result of a conscious US strategy: its scheme to 
industrialize Puerto Rico in the 1950s was promoted to create a haven for 
US corporations seeking cheap labor and tax-free production. This led to the 
destruction of Puerto Rican agriculture and the forced migration in miliiosvj. 
pushed off the land and unahie to find work in the crowded cities, (.ailed 
"Operation Bootstrap," this was the widely-heralded mode! of 1.5 ''Vdd'* to 
the Third World. It was a cruel attempt to destroy a nation and divide a 
people for the benefit oi US corporate profit. 

Emigration continues to be encouraged by the LS as a means of 
defusing Puerto Riean resistance and dealing with mass unemployment on 
the island. While helping to tighten US control, the forced migration ha- afso 
provided a cheap labor supply for low-wage employers in the US. Sixty 
percent of all Puerto Rican workers hi this country make less than $100 a 
week. They work at punishing jobs in the garment and textile industries, as 
secretaries, in hospitals, and as migrant labor on capitalist farms iuicicr the 
most inhumane conditions. Low pay goes hand-in-hand with staggering 
unemployment rates —the permanent condition of the reserve army of labor. 

Characterized by both special oppression and strategic importance, 
Puerto Rico has a unique relationship to US imperialism. Puerto Rico is the 
fifth largest market for US goods in the world; over one half of all US 
in vestmentsin Latin Am erica arc there— a staggering figure of" $6 ,80f) ,000 ,000. 
Eighty-five percent of Puerto RicoV industrial capital, one of the keys \o s 
country's development, is in the hands of North Americans, San Juati hears 
the tell-tale mark of empire -prostitution, hotels, gambling, skros. 

Puerto Rico is ihc military center for the US in the Caribbean. 
There are two nuclear weapons bases and 1 3% of the best arable land is usori 
for US military purposes. Troops from the island were used in Panama in 
1964 and the Dominican Republic in 1905. This military presence is a 

waffling to all Puerto Ricans and a threat to the rest of the Caribbean, 
particularly socialist Cuba. 

One of the chief examples of Puerto Rico's colonial relationship to 
the US is the superport: a petrochemical and mineral processing complex 
which US-based multinational oil companies, the Puerto Rican cplonial 
government and the Nixon administration are proposing to build in Puerto 
Rico. The complex is due to be finished over the next 25 years. Its 
completion would mean the physical destruction of Puerto Rico as a nation. 
More rich agricultural land than ever would be destroyed, and the area 
around the plants would become a vast wasteland. The devastation from oil 
spills would be incalculable. Estimates are that as many as one million Puerto 
Ricans would be forced to leave the country. The attempt to stop the 
superport is a major focus of the Puerto Rican independence movement. 

When we look at the importance of Puerto Rico to the US, we can 
begin to understand the historic significance of the Puerto Rican movement. 
The Puerto Rican nation will not die. It is born again and again thru the 
culture and the struggles of the people on the island, and the people here. 

Living in the barrios of major cities, mostly on the East Coast, 
Puerto Ricans in the US are subjected to many attempts to destroy their 
culture and their nation. The economic basis of the Puerto Rican community 
— Jow-skiO jobs and small bodega ownership— is increasingly shaky. Puerto 
Ricans face conditions of rotten housing, poor health care, brutal police 
ireafriient and institutionalized racism. Colonialism is at work in the schools. 
Puerto Eican children are denied the dignity of their nation's history and 
language, not taught to read, and tracked into useless "general diploma" 


Against this background the Puerto Rican nation re-emerged inside 
the US too. In Dec. 1969, the Young Lords took over a church in Spanish 
Harlem and invited "All New York' 1 to the People's Church. Puerto Rican 
communities were stirring, many fronts were opened up: the struggle for 
people's control of Lincoln Hospital in New York City, where Blacks and 
Puerto Ricans were being abused daily; the ongoing battle for genuine 
community control of the schools of District One in New York; the 
continuing day-to-day work of groups like El Comite around tenants' and 
welfare rights; the fight to free political prisoners like Martin Sostre, Gabriel 
and Francisco Torres, and the Nationalist fighters; the defense of Carlos 
Feliciano and Pancho Cruz. 

The present-day resistance has its roots in the movements and the 
fighters who have come before: in Don Pedro Albizu-Campos, the great 
Nationalist leader; in Lolila Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irving Flores 
and Andres Figueroa Cordero, still in jail after twenty years imprisonment 
for the armed attack on the US Congress in 1954; in Oscar Collazo, another 
Nationalist fighter who remains in prison for the attempted assassination of 
Harry Truman in 1950. 

Many forces and organizations now carry on the struggle. The U.N. 
resolution was presented by the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) and 
the Puerto Rican Socialist Party (PSP). The PSP was invited as an observer to 
the recent Non-Aligned Nations Conference in Algiers. The Puerto Rican 
movement has continued its armed resistance to US imperialism through the 
actions of the Armed Commandos of Liberation (CAL) who have attacked 
US-owned companies and the Condado Hotel strip, center of US tourism. 
Within the US, MIRA —an armed revolutionary Puerto Rican group— has 
attacked many businesses and large stores. 

The Puerto Rican movement is a living bond to national liberation 
struggles in Latin America, an explosive threat to US power. As it continues 
to grow stronger and more forceful, activists from every movement are 
pushed to giveconcretesupport through action and organizing. Learning the 
history of Puerto Rico, understanding and supporting the Puerto Rican 
movement, and learning to speak Spanish —the people's language— are all 
necessities for movement organizers in the US. 







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Guine-Bissau is a small country of 800,000 people on the West 
coast of Africa. It was from her shores that Portugal initiated thenotorious 
West African slave trade over four hundred years ago. Since 1963, a fierce 
people's war has been waged by the forces of the African Party for the 
Independence of Guine and the Cape Verde Islands (PAIGC). They have 
been fighting and defeating over 35,000 Portuguese troops who have been 
armed, supplied and trained by the US and other NATO powers. 

On September 24, 1973, Aristides Pereira, Secretary-General of 
PAIGC, declared Guine-Bissau independent from Portuguese rule. He 
announced that the new Republic of Guine-Bissau would continue to battle 
the Portuguese soldiers on its territory and would also press for the 
liberation of the Cape Verde Islands. Soon after, the U.N. General Assembly 
voted overwhelmingly to extend recognition to the new nation.TheUS, along 
with South Africa, Portugal and Israel, opposed the resolution. Eighty-two 
nations have now formally recognized the new government. 

Revolution has profoundly changed Guinean life. PAIGC has 
liberated almost three-fourths of the countryside. Many people now attend 
schools in places where no schools existed before. Health care has become a 
priority in a country where only one hospital was built by Portugal in over 
one hundred years. Women have assumed a central role in the revolutionary 
process, breaking from the limits and oppression of the colonial past. 
Liberation continues to flower in the midst of battle —this is what PAIGC 
calls "building the revolution as we fight." 

Amilcar Cabral was the leader of PAIGC until his assassination by 
Portuguese agents in January 1973. Cabral was a powerful, unifying 
spokesperson for all the African liberation movements. He was one of the 
truly great, original revolutionary theorists of this era, a dedicated fighter in 
the cause of liberation. His murder was a cruel blow to Africa and to the 
world revolution. 

Guine-Bissau is the first Portuguese colony to declare 
independence. Its liberation struggle has had an effect in Africa similar to thc 
worldwide effects of the Vietnamese struggle. It has been a catalyst for the 
movements in the other Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique, 
and has spurred the rise of revolution throughout Southern Africa. At the 
same time, the liberation movements have won more open support from the 
Organization of African Unity (OAU), which represents a broad range of 
African states. 

In Angola, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola 
(MPLA) has liberated one third of the land —territory inhabited by one 
milbon Angolans. In Mozambique, the guerrillas of the Mozambique 
Liberation Front (FRELIMO) have launched a powerful new offensive 
against the centers of Portuguese power. FRELIMO forces have crossed the 
Zambezi River, the supposedly impenetrable natural defense line of Portugal 
in Mozambique. They have challenged Portugal's planned operation of the 
huge Caborra Bassa Dam on the Zambezi River. Combined with attacks on 
the strategic railway between landlocked Rhodesia and the Mozambiean port 
of Beira, these FRELIMO operations have shaken Portugal's hold on the 


Portugal is a poor country, run since 1924 by a fascist dictatorship. It spends 
over 50% of its budget on the military and has fielded an army of 250,000 
troops to fight in Africa. Like all colonialist and imperialist countries, 
Portugal is now seeing the chickens come home to roost. Its attempts to 
crush liberation in Africa have created the conditions for rebellion at home. 
Over 100,000 youth have fled the country to avoid the draft. Others have 
deserted from the army. Armed attacks within Portugal have risen —in April, 
a troop ship about to sail from Lisbon to Guine-Bissau with 1,000 men 
aboard, was rocked by an explosion. The action was claimed by the 
Revolutionary Brigade Organization. 

The recent military coup in Portugal reflects the success of the 
African guerrillas and the deep opposition to the wars among large numbers 
of Portuguese, It could be said of the ousted fascist government of Marcello 
Caetano what Cabral said of the death of the previous Portuguese dictator 
Salazar: "Africa was the disease which killed him." The coup has unleashed a 
wave of open anti-fascist organizing among the Portuguese people and has 
also triggered intensified popular pressure to end tire African wars. 

It is doubtful, however, that the new junta will agree to the only 
possible solution in Africa: complete independence for Angola, 
Mozambique, and Guine-Bissau. The junta's leader, General Antonio Spinola, 
fought with the fascists in the Spanish Civil War, served with the Nazi Army 
during World War II, and was the major Portuguese eommander in the losing 
war against Guine-Bissau. Spinola has floated out visions of neoeolonial 
non-solutions which have been categorically rejected by the liberation forces, 
Luis Cabral, the new President of the Republic of Guine-Bissau has said: 

Spinola talks a lot and he has been known to make a lot of 
promises. But we know that the only language he listens to 
comes from the guns of our forces, hitting him and hitting 
him and hitting him again. 

Portugal could not sustain its colonial wars without the aid of the 
Western imperial powers. As' a NATO member it receives arms and supplies 
from the US and Western Europe. Southern Africa is of great strategic 
importance to imperialism —a source of valuable raw materials, cheap labor, 
high-profit investments. Victories for PAIGC, FRELIMO, and MPLA could 
pose a serious threat to racist rule in the whole area. Consequently, the 
battle lines have hardened and the LIS has more openly supported Portugal 
and the white racist governments in South Africa and Rhodesia. 

In 1971, the Nixon government gave Portugal a $436 million loan 
in return for continued use of the Azores Islands as a military base. US 
companies have a growing stake in Portuguese success; they now are the 
third largest investors in the Portuguese colonies. Gulf Oil Company pays 
Portugal $62 million a year for its rights to oil resources on theAngolan 
coast (Cabinda). In November, 1973, Gulf acknowledged the discovery of 
new deposits in this area which it called "the most prolific south of the 
Middle East." When the Arab states halted oil shipments to Portugal and 
South Africa, Gulf helped take up the slack, sending oil to both countries 
and Mozambique. 


Over half of all US African investments are in South Africa, which 
functions as a junior partner of Western imperialism. South Africa is 
currently fighting liberation movements in Namibia (Southwest Africa), 
Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and within its own borders. As Portugal loses its hold 
over Angola and Mozambique, more direct South African intervention is 

This is the Southern Axis in Africa -Portugal, South Africa, the 
US, the ."SATO powers, Rhodesia - lined up against millions of Africans 
demanding self-determination. The fight tor liberation in Southern Africa is 
i strategic center-point in the battle against imperialism. 

The African liberation struggles have been hidden wars, rarely 
mentioned in the US press. It has taken the concerted work of the Black 
movement to break the silence in this country. Black organizations have 
pushed forward boycott campaigns against Gulf Oil and Portuguese 
products, have opposed US support for Portugal and South Africa, and are 
now demanding IS recognition of the new Republic of Guine-Bissau. 
Longshoremen in Baton Rouge, Baltimore and San "Francisco have refused to 
unload shipments of Rbodcsian chrome, brought here in violation of a U.N. 

All these activities are important for our movement to support and 
help build, Willi the current crisis in Portugal, this is a key time to intensify 
worldwide support for the African liberation movements. While some 
movement organizers are now engaged in work around Africa, many more of 
us should make it a part of our daily work. This involves both commitment 
to action and to political education: a good place to begin is with Amilcar 
Cabral's writings —Revolution in Guinc . Return to the Source , O ur People 
are Our Mountains -- and Basil Davidson's Liberation of Guine. Learn from 
the people. A basis can be laid within the movement for a new level of 
solidarity with the African struggles. 




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People have been confused and misled into thinking that the 
situation in the Mideast is impossibly complicated. Blindness to the 
Palestinian people is at the root of this quandary. The Palestinian struggle is 
a genuine and deep-rooted movement for national liberation. \s a people. 
they have actively opposed colonization of their lands from the beginning: 
against the Turkish rulers, against (he British empire, and now against 
Zionism as embodied in the state of Israel. This is the key to the past and the 
future of the Mideast. There is a sobering similarity between the situation of 
the Palestinians and the history of the Native American people. The reality is 
that Israel is an expansionist power, based on zionist colonialism. 

For seven years, the Palestinian liberation movement has been the 
leading resistance to Zionism and Israeli military supremacy in the Mideast. 
In the October War, the Arab nations delivered a major blow to Israel, 
destroying the myth of Israeli military invincibility, weakening her position 
in the world and heightening contradictions within Israel itself. The Arab 
demands were for the return of (he Israeli-occupied lands seized during the 
1967 Six Day War in which Israel more than Lripled its size. At the core of 
Mideast politics, unsettled by the October War or the US-Soviet negotiations 
about the Mideast, arc the Palestinian people. 

The Palestinians are 3.3 million landless people, dispersed primarily 
in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Gaza and Israel, They have 
become the people of the diaspora -exiled from their homeland of 
thousands of years by the state of Israel and the ideology of zionism. 
Referred to in the US press as "Arab terrorists". ''Arab refugees", or 
"Southern Syrians", the Palestinians have been struggling to return to their 
land and for their right to self-determination and liberation. Their claim is 
just; it is based on the fact of Palestinian national existence: a common 
heritage, the labor of their ancestors, the cultivation of citrus and olives, 
trade, the building of the cities of Haifa, Jaffa and Lydda, their culture, their 
dignity as a people. 

For 24 years, hundreds of thousands of proud Palestinians have 
been forced into hastily set up U.N. refugee camps with no means of survival 
except food depots and U.N. rations. Displaced again in 1967, this time from 
the occupied territories, the Palestinians faced a second exodus, twice 
refugees. The atrocious camps, originally organized as a temporary measure, 
are the living grievance —they express the contradiction embodied in the 
existence of Israel at the expense of Palestine. 

Israel has never recognized the Palestinians'' rights. Zionist leaders 
have rejected U.N. resolutions calling for the return of the refugees to their 
homeland, rejected the idea that the "so-called Palestinian people" exist, and 
insisted that they are the Arabs 'problem, not theirs. From the outset, Israel 
has worked toward a purely Jewish state. 

It was after the holocaust in Europe in which half the Jewish 
population of Europe was slaughtered by the fascists that the creation of 
Israel became a reality. The US and other Western powers denied 
immigration to Jewish refugees and encouraged migration to the land of 
Palestine. Zionists colluded with the imperialists to create Israel on an 
already-populated land. 


From its inception, zionism has been an imperial ideology, 
presented as an alternative to communism, Theodore Herzl, recognized as 
the founder of modern zionism, had toyed with the idea of establishing a 
Jewish slate in Uganda or Kenya and was blunt about zionist alliances: 

England with her possessions in Asia should be most 
interested in Zionism, for the shortest road to India is by way 
of Palestine. England's great politicians were the first to 
recognize the need for colonial expansion. That is why Great 
Britain's ensign flies on all the oceans. And so I must believe 
that here in England, the idea of Zionism, which is a colonial 
idea, should be easily and quickly understood in its true and 
most modern form. 

Israel is a settler colony. After World War II, with the British driven 
out, the U.K. partitioned Palestine in favor of the Zionists. The Hagana and 
the Irgun, zionist terror organizations, initiated a campaign of violence 
against the Palestinian people to force them off their land and out of the 
cities: to create a state "clean of Arabs." At Deir Yassin, the Irgun killed 
every one of the 254 Palestinian inhabitants on April 9, 1948. Poorly armed, 
over a million Palestinians fled over the borders, leaving everything behind. 
Israel seized and confiscated their immense lands and their property under 
the Absentee Property Laws and justified this occupation with the lie that 
the Palestinians left of their own free will. The 1 2% of the Palestinian people 
who remained behind became hired labor on their own lands or in 
settlements, and lived under military control, treated as an inferior people. 

Israe! is an expansionist country. In three successive wars since 
partition, they have conquered and occupied Egyptian land, Syrian land, and 
Jordanian land. Forty percent of the Israeli budget is taken up by war. 
During the October War, the US airlifted supplies of up to 800 tons of war 
equipment per day to Israel through the Portuguese-held Azores and Kixon 
got a 82.2 billion request for military spending for Israel. Israeli government 
policy is periodic warfare, "... eternal war imposed by destiny." 

Israel is a class society. Kot only is it based on the special colonial 
relationship of super -exploitation of native Palestinians, but half the Jewish 
population are immigrants from Asia and Africa -"Oriental 1 ' Jews— who 
face particular exploitation doing unskilled labor, living in the worst housing, 
discriminated against by "European" Jews. In addition, because Israel is a 
religious state, non-jews are denied basic rights. These conflicts have been 
submerged by zionism, yet the tensions and contradictions have produced 
frustration and opposition among some sectors in Israel, particularly the 

Israel's economy is weak, in spite of the enormous theft of 
Palestinian land and labor. It is dependent on foreign capital: German 
reparations, US aid and billions from Western donations. In 1967, Israel 
received U)% of all US foreign aid. The Nixon administration boasts that it 
has given Israel more aid than the combined total of all previous 
administrations. Israel is a client state of US imperialism, serving as 
policeman and favored partner in the exploitation of the Mideast and 
Northern Africa. 


fc>lf rfferc^v. iV-^i^ Man iv^w^eb'Wo {jMp 

The zionist government in Israel supported the US in Vietnam, 
supports the fascist junta in Chile and opposes ah liberation movements in 
Africa. Since the i 967 war, 26 African nations have severed relations with 
Israel on the basis of Israeli occupation, of Arab land. This is also a 
consequence of Israel's attempt to penetrate and dominate African 
development. South Africa and Rhodesia continue ties with Israel. 

Zionist colonialism has cultivated a worldwide image as the 
besieged victim, the heroic people holding off the barbarians, a 
semi-socialist state where strong and free sabras made the desert bloom, the 
refuge and guarantee against anti-semitism. The reality is very different: 

— The Zionist state is clearly the aggressor, the source of violence 
and war in the Mideast, the occupier of stolen lands. The military solutions 
of periodic war and expansion, reprisal raids and constant preparation for 
war are the consequence of intransigent opposition to a politically 
cooperative future with Palestinians and Arabs. It is racist and expansionist 
—the enemy of Palestinians, the Arab people, and the Jewish people. 

— Israeli society internally reflects this imperialist reality : 
militarized, commercial and competitive. 

—The myth of socialism on the kibbutz is a powerful one, but the 
kibbutzim never contained more than 5% of the Jewish population of 
Palestine or Israel, and are no evidence for Israel being a socialist country. 
Many of the kibbutzim are on land which Palestinian peasants were driven 
from, some directly exploit Palestinian tabor, and they are all subsidized by 
Zionist funds. 


-■Zionism does not represent Jews. It is a racist ideology based on 
the claim that. "God" chose a people superior to others. It has been 
consistently used as an alternative to class struggle and socialism for Jews, 
undermining Jewish progressive and working-class traditions. 

—There is no basis for the claim that zionism is a bulwark against 
anti-semitism. The zionist slate has allied with the most repressive and 
intolerant, racist and anti-semitic regimes in the world: IVixon, Thieu, South 
Africa, and the Chilean junta. 

The white movement in the US has failed to give elear and open 
support to the Palestinian struggle. We have not taken on the necessary task 
of exposing the myths about Israel which cloak the true situation and disarm 
many people. The nature of the state of Israel is protected by intense 
passions and by the real memories of Nazism and anti-semitism. But despite 
ancestors at Auschwitz and relatives in Israel, we cannot escape the 
responsibility of opposing the crimes of the Israeli government and the 
consequences of zionist ideology. 

From exile and despair, the Palestinians have slowly developed their 
resistance capability. They began to lead and define their own political and 
guerrilla movement, which accelerated after the Arab defeat in the 1967 war. 
Their brave battle at Karameh in 1968 helped make them the focal point of 
resistance to Zionism and galvanized the national identity and yearnings of 
the whole people. The forces and organizations of Palestinian liberation 
trained thousands of Palestinians and began to mobilize their people, to 
provide health and administrative services, to reclaim their history. The 
active participation of Palestinian women in the struggle for liberation 
challenges the long history of women's subservience and dependence which 
has been bolstered by religion and family. The Union for Palestinian Women 
is active within all the camps, with a primary focus on education and fighting 
the economic oppression of women. 

The Palestinian strategy has been to carry out operations against 
the zionist state and Israeli-held territory and to remind the world of the 
Palestinian people's cause. Their solution is a democratic secular Palestine 
that will accomodate all Palestinians: Jews, Moslems and Christians. The 
Palestinian Liberation Organization is the umbrella organization which 
coordinates policy of the liberation forces. 

The Palestinian liberation movement is a most progressive force in 
the Mideast, as is the revolution of South Yemen —known as the Cuba of the 
Mideast. The Palestinians have educated masses of people, opened up the 
revolution to women and demonstrated fearless determination to win. Their 
proposal of a democratic secular state stands in marked contrast to 
rhetorical threats to annihilate the Jews or reactionary expressions of 
anti-semitism. The Palestinians make a firm distinction between zionism and 

The presence of the Palestinian struggle is a touchstone for other 
contradictions in the Mideast. The Palestinian freedom fighters are a highly 
politicized group, a militant nucleus, scattered in five "host" countries. A 
principle of the liberation movement has been that the revolution is 
Palestinian in origin and Arab in extension. The dedicated fedayeen have 
stimulated wide support among Arab people. Their struggle and their 
determined independence from Arab governments in whose lands they live, 
train and organize, makes them a force for revolutionary change throughout 
the Arab world. 


Often Arab governments have rhetorically used the Palestinian 
cause to maintain their own power and control, while consistently leaving 
the Palestinians out of negotiations and excluding them from a dignified life 
within their countries. These rulers are fully aware of the threat posed to 
their power fay a vital liberation movement strategically located in their 
midst. Yet they are somewhat restrained by the immense popularity of the 
movement among the people of the Arab countries. 

This precarious balance was shattered by "Black September." Over 
half the population of Jordan was Palestinian when King Hussein unleashed a 
major military attack to liquidate the Palestinian revolution in September 
1970. The US backed Hussein with a continuous flow of arms and the threat 
of intervention with the 6th fleet. Thousands of Palestinians were murdered, 
refugee camps were bombarded and destroyed, leaders executed. This was a 
severe setback. The Palestinians have since regrouped in Lebanon and Syria 
and rebuilt their forces. 

Palestinian independence is opposed with reactionary schemes by 
Jordan, completely opposed with military terror by Israel, and manipulated 
by the US. The US-sponsored notion of stability and status-quo in the 
Mideast is an attempt to preserve US imperialist control of oil, using zionist 
power as the cat's paw. The Mideast has become a world focus of struggles 
over oil resources and control of strategic sea and air routes. Yet the 
Palestinian struggle is at the heart of other conflicts in the Mideast. Only the 
Palestinians can determine the solution which reflects the aspirations of the 
Palestinian people. No "settlements" in the Mideast which exclude the 
Palestinians will resolve the conflict. Palestinian liberation will not be 

The US people have been seriously deceived about the Palestinians 
and Israel. This calls for a campaign to educate and focus attention on the 
true situation: teach-ins, debates, and open clear support for Palestinian 
liberation; reading about the Palestinian movement -The Disinherited by 
Fawaz Turki, Enemy of the Sun; opposing US aid to Israel. Our silence or 
acceptance of pro-zionist policy is a form of complicity with US-hackcd 
aggression and terror, and a betrayal of internationalism. 



In Vietnam the imperialist soldiers encounter the discomforts 
of those who, accustomed to the vaunted US standard of 
living, must face a hostile land, the insecurity of those who 
are unable to move without being aware of walking on enemy 
territory, death to those who advance beyond their fortified 
encampments, the permanent hostility of an entire 
population. All this provokes internal repercussions in the US 
and encourages the resurgence of a factor which was 
attenuated in the full vigor of imperialism: class struggle even 
within its own territory. 

Che Guevara 
Message to the Tricontinental 


We are living in a huge and naturally beautiful land. The mountains, 
the deserts and the plains hold the riches of history from Indian tribes who 
dwelt here — places like Four Corners and the Black Hills, sacred land to the 
Navaho and the Sioux. Eagles fly overhead in some areas, and coyotes howl 
at the moon. Snow lands, river lands: travelled manv times, seen hv manv 
people's eyes. 

No wonder we scream at the plunder, the wastefulness and 
wreckage. The streams and lakes float with dead fish, victims of industrial 
waste: the mountains are ripped apart for the wealth of strip-mined coal; the 
air is thick with pollution. Profit chases greed in a reckless race across the 


Most people live in the cities, giant centers oi' commerce and 
production. The cities contain tremendous potential for human development 
and community, but the potential is mocked by the reality: burned and 
abandoned houses, dirty avenues and children living in cold apartments —this 
crowded up against extravagant wealth and the centers of imperial power, 
Still the culture of the many peoples grows tenaciously. 

What kind of society is it? It is a class society, torn by 
contradictions: the heartland of a bloody empire built on the attempted 
genocide of Native Americans, the trade in African slaves, the lives of 
Chinese and Japanese and Filipino workers, the exploitation of successive 
waves of immigrant labor. It is an imprisoner of nations -Guam, Samoa, the 
Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, the Black and Chicano nations. Like 
other empires, it combines stolen lands, stolen riches and stolen labor. 


Stolen wealth —not Yankee ingenuity— is the basis of the 
tremendous concentration in the US of productive forces -large factories 
with advanced machinery, elaborate computer systems, highly extended 
organization, the labor of women and men from many nations- all 
contributing to an astounding productive capability. 

This accumulated productive power is used for the most selfish and 
backward purposes. Whereas this wealth is produced by the people of the 
world, it is used to enrich the idle handful that controls it, and to subjugate 
the dispossessed with the destructive power of economic control and war. 

Monopoly capital/imperialism is an irrational system. It is not 
organized to meet human needs. It is run by a very small ruling class whose 
only morality is the morality of the maximum profit. 

This handful of white men control the enormous concentrations of 
wealth, the means of production, the government. These are the imperialists, 
the common enemy. They hog the wealth which the people produce. 
Thirty-two per cent of the personal wealth in the US is owned by 1,6% of 
the population. 

W r ho are these enemies' Of all the imperial dynasties and major 
thieves of our time, the Rockefeller family stands out: the phenomenal 
growth of their clan's influence and riches parallels the development of US 
imperialism. They are the richest people in the w r orld, richer than anyone has 
ever been before, and they are getting richer all the time. Their wealth is 
about as much as all the Blacks, Chicanos, Indians, Puerto Ricans and forty 
million poor whites in the US have put together. Like the other imperial 
dynasties and families, their wealth has been dispersed into an invisible 
empire which has spread to every corner of the world. It is an empire which 
includes the world's largest banks and industrial corporations —aerospace, 
computers, oil, insurance, telephones and television. The Rockefellers 
control 20% of banking in the US and 20% of all its industry. This vast 
empire of wealth and power is built to grow, to self -perpetuate, to entangle 
everywhere on earth that it can. It feeds on domination over the people; its 
social policies are welfare cuts, stop and frisk, drug detention laws. It 
dislocates whole populations from our cities for the construction of huge 
monuments to the god profit, to commerce and world trade. It meets 

rebellion —as at Attica— with. I.he iron heel. The Rockefellers' policies exist 
for the continued emmlseratlon of most of humanity and the continued 
spiral of concentration of power and wealth into their hands. 

They arc not l he only ones. The heads of Ford and General Motors 
each receive yearly salaries of almost Si ,000,000, vet one third of the US 
people are considered poor by the government's figures. We measured the 
energy crisis by cold houses, sick, children and lost jobs, while the oil 
companies increased their profits over last year by as much as 130%. 

This irrational and revolting system leaves much social wealth 
wasted and undeveloped. T\ liat is produced bears little relationship to what is 
needed. For this reason Marxist-Leninists speak 01 the "anarchy of 
production" when we refer to the wav productive forces are organized under 
imperialism. The great, injustice of this system is (.hat. it leaves its potential 
unrealized while maintaining scarcity for billions of people. 

All economic activity that does not go to satisfy human need is 
waste. Advertising and marketing (a 830 billion a year business), useless 
consumer goods, planned obsolescence, bureaucracy, the military -all aspects 
of waste- add up to the social cost of maintaining this outmoded system. It 
is working people and the oppressed of empire who bear the cost. 

The scale on which military spending consumes capital is staggering, 
The annual military budget is larger than the net incomes of all US 
corporations put together. With this the US maintains missiles, submarines, 
electronic warfare and chemical and biological agents, nuclear weapons, 
bomber forces and over three thousand military bases around the world. This 
dominance of miliiarizatiou in the economy distorts every aspect of US life. 


The pmpuse of class analysis is to isolate the enemy and to identify 
our potential friends. Who will lead the fight? Who can be won over? Who at 
least neutralized? This framework is as important as battle plans. 

Class analysis should not use the borders of the US like blinders on 
a horse. This deprives ns of the full picture and throws strategy into chaos. 
Domestic class analysis must be integrated with the reality of US imperialism 
as a world economy. There is one system operating internally and externally: 
there is a unified strategy for power and control although the application 
and tactics vary greatlv; there is one main class enemy. Class analysis must 
see the entire sv.s!em mid realistically take account of imperial plunder, the 
distorting culture of privilege and racism, and the realities of national 

In the US the. imperialists stand opposed to the huge majority of 
poor and work!ii£ people who have no control over the fruits of our labor. 

The nHhig eliss divides us against each other by mechanisms of 
stratification :nul competition, and thereby maintains its own power. Some 
of these ^re based on real differences in wealth, status s power, 
freedom, abilUv to Huvvive mid be happy. Some of them are imposed by 
school, by relink:. is draining or the family. We are Imbued with the sense of 
different ness !;■.■:/■ jther people in the world. The strength of the divisions 
among us mes^.ir-?? only the effectiveness of control over all dispossessed 
people by 7 the rnler- of society. The revolutionary process will sweep these 


away, seize the transformation oi' society as a whole, and do away with 
privilege and advantage, 

US society is corrupted by the values that necessarily accompany 
piracy —racism, greed, competitiveness, brutality, sexism, callousness. The 
ruling class calls the backward, criminal aspects of culture into being and sets 
them into motion. The society is the rat-race, marked hv an anti-social 
premium on individualism. There is a stark poverty for masses of people 
materially and culturally, a poverty in the quality of life. 

—Hunger and starvation are world realities. In the US over 30 
million people cannot afford to meet basic nutritional needs. In spite of 
these facts, the US government pays farmers billions of dollars a year not to 
grow food. This keeps food prices high. The war of the rich and the poor has 
taken on terrible proportions —the face of famine, malnutrition, epidemic 
against the face of glut. 

—Close to half the US population has one or more chronic 
conditions —diabetes, asthma, arthritis, heart diseases, high blood pressure. 
Medical care is inadequate and inaccessible to most people, Since 1960, 
medical costs have been rising twice as fast as the skyrocketing cost of living, 
and hospital costs five times. One night in a hospital costs a week's pay for a 
worker. Health insurance companies arc getting rich from the people's pain. 
The horror intensifies for poor people: malnutrition is the great hidden cause 
of disease in the US. With humane priorities, the violence of socially 
unnecessary pain would be eradicated , women's health would be a priority, 
people would not die from hunger or poverty-related illness. 


—Illiteracy is increasing in the US. Schools systematically refuse to 
teach Black and Third World children to read; millions of people in this 
country are illiterate. Schools are minimum security prisons, geared to 
repression and control of the young, to teaching the lessons of competition, 
self-hatred, fear and loneliness. 

—Work is hard to get: unemployment in early 1974 is running at 
5.1%of the work-force. This is considered acceptable by capitalist economists. 
The government also admits Lhat there are at least another 8-10% 
unemployed or underemployed who are not shown in the statistics. These 
low estimates add up to 12,000,000 US workers out of work or 
semi-employed. Women are chronically underemployed; large numbers of 
young people arc marginally employed; Black people have twice the 
unemployment rate of the population as a whole. 

When people do find work, it is alienating and oppressive under 
imperialism. Industrial accidents resulting in deaths or serious injury are 
astronomical. Speedup at plants like the Vega plant in Lordstown, Ohio, 
leave workers exhausted, tense and drained at the end of the day. Miners 
suffer from chronic lung diseases. 

Factory discipline is rigidly enforced. Between 1960-1968, 
disciplinary cases doubled at Ford plants in the US. Absenteeism among 
workers is on the rise. Work in the US stifles and imprisons the worker. 
Production for war and waste turns the fulfilling aspect of work into its 
hateful opposite. 

—One-quarter of the US people are living in substandard housing, 
dilapidated or lacking in adequate plumbing or heating, firetraps. Half of the 
Black people in the US live in bad housing. Peeling paint in tenements has 
led to a major plague of lead paint poisoning; lead poisoning today cripples 
more children annually than did polio before the Salk vaccine. Children are 
exposed to rat bi tes as well as broken-down facilities leading to accidents and 
disease. Families are forced to pay high rents for rotten apartments. The 
system's "solutions" to these criminal conditions are urban renewal which 
tears apart poor people's communities in order to build more profitable 
higher-rent apartments, irrational tract-housing which destroys the 
countryside, and mobile homes Mdiich are structurally unsound and 
dangerous —financed at incredible profits. The housing crisis produces 
profits for real estate speculators and big landlords and unlivable conditions 
for millions of US people. 

—Old age, instead of being a mark of respect and value, is scary in 
our society. Old people arc poor, many die in old-age homes as if age were a 
disease. This society discards those whose labor is no longer exploitable for 
market value. The premium put on youth distorts human links between 
generations. Old people's lessons from life and stories of the past are seldom 
learned. Our loss. 

—Children are denied self-respect, dignity and creativity. They have 
no social power in a driving, competitive society. Almost nothing is built 
with small people in mind —stairs, toilets, turnstiles, signs, systems of 
transportation. Schools, television and publishing companies subject young 
people to a brutal culture of ultra-violence, sexist stereotypes and racism. 
Children are denied community; day-care facilities are minimal and always 
facing severe cutbacks. Kids are newer people and have, by the fact of being 
born, earned the rights that all human beings deserve. 


— Personal debt to banks and corporsuuii:: h 

astronomically in the past decade, Tlie ruling ctes.- v-ou- 
millions of people by tying them to the svsfejrj wiih dehl 
inflation and unemployment, delinquencies on ii!:-tau;ner 
high during January and February 1974. 


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All of {.his has a profoundly destructive effect on the people and 
the quality of life in the US. People turn against one another and ourselves. 
Over one half of the hospital beds in the US are occupied by mental patients. 
Alcoholism, drug addiction, child beating, rape, gambling, anger and suicide 
are all at crisis proportions. 

h'or people in the US the basic fact of life is fear. People are afraid 
of society. No one knows what is going to happen. Fear of illness, fear of 
getting laid off. Afraid to go outdoors, Afraid of Black people moving into 
the neighborhood, afraid of loss of status, afraid of not looking right, afraid 
of being taken advantage of, afraid to speak up, afraid of growing old. 

Still, Vietnam and Black rebellion, the resistance of youth and the 
rising of women begin to pry open minds and reclaim people imperialism 
tried to destroy. It is harder to sell the bourgeois life. The lace over the 
machinery of greed and brutality has gaping holes. The circus has lost its 
glitter. Imperialism's seamy side is up for those who will examine its ugly 
contours and help plan its downfall. 


People who must sell their labor power in order to survive make up 
the large and growing US proletariat (working class). The position in society 
of the working class is in fundamental conflict with the role and function 
and activities of the imperialists. 

Oppressed peoples, women and youth and other anti-imperialist 
forces can and should deliver telling blows against the empire now; the actual 
building of socialism cannot succeed without the active support of the 
industrial proletariat. 

This is the proletariat's historic mission. It is a revolutionary duty 
to analyze and interpret the factors and causes which are obstacles to 
forward motion of the working-class in the struggle against the class enemy. 

One can repeat formulas of class structure according to income and 
work and feel like a lot has been accomplished. But what is needed is a 
concrete analysis of concrete conditions, "the living soul of Marxism." What 
is needed is a method that analyzes the motion of society, the contradictions 
and the changes, in relationship to historic realities, possibilities, and 
necessities. In the US in the past twenty years, the white industrial 
proletariat has seldom exercised its revolutionary initiative. 

Third World peoples in the US, and also women, youth and 
members of the armed forces have shown the most consistent initiative and 
practice as measured by the decisive anti-imperialist struggle of this entire 
period: the war in Vietnam. These groups have been the carriers of 
proletarian internationalism for this time. 

The historic prediction of the leading role of the industrial 
proletariat in capitalist countries emphasized the concrete processes hy 
which the workers would be socialized and would increasingly find 
themselves in a common situation of oppression. One of the defining 
characteristics of the US working class is that it is composed of workers of 
both the oppressor and the oppressed nations. Any attempt to predict the 
role of the US working class must place great emphasis on the leadership that 


has been given by Black and Third World people. 

The changing nature of the working class places Black and Third 
World workers in a strategic position. They have become a major part of 
basic industry —steel, auto, chemical, transportation— as well as the vital 
sectors that serviee the cities —hospital, transit and clerical work. This has 
created a new level of militant leadership from below, challenging while 
supremacy in the unions, confronting and radicalizing white co-workers. 
Black and Third World workers have raised demands in the interest of the 
whole class, including the colonized of empire —in contrast to the existing 
leadership of the labor aristocracy, represented by the AFL-CIO hierarchy, 
which raises demands that favor the most skilled, works against the interests 
of the poor and the unorganized, and helps sustain imperialism. 

Imperialism on the decline creates new historic conditions for 
organizing revolutionary struggles in the oppressor nation. The crisis has 
affected millions. But crisis does not automatically produce red 
consciousness. The traditional solution to domestic economic crisis -war- 
remains an option for imperialism. In the face of imperial decline, the rulers 
make fascistic appeals to whites to try to recoup economic stability and 
privilege by going along with and enforcing even more intensified oppression 
of Third World people —welfare cutbacks, miseducation, and expeditionary 
war against Third World revolution. The imperialists are only able to do this 
by launching counterrevolution at home as well as abroad. 

The revolutionary potential and contribution of poor, unemployed 
and imprisoned people cannot be dismissed with the category 
"lumpen-proletariat." Modern imperialism involves chronic stagnation, 
creating large numbers of permanently unemployed or underemployed 
people. This large group cannot be equated with the small group described 
by Marx, Cultural and community ties between today's unemployed and the 
most exploited workers here plays a leading role in working-class struggle. 
Working-class unity cannot be built on the terms of the most privileged 
sectors. Rather, the demands of the most oppressed must be the basis f'or 
isolating the labor aristocracy in their support for US imperialism, and for 
building a revolutionary class unity. 

There is as yet no dynamic way to analyze the class position of 


women. The class of a woman is typically determined by the class of her 
husband or her father. This solely derivative criteria is sexist. The usual 
alternative is to define a woman's class solely by her role in the work force. 
Yet in itself this is inadequate since the overwhelming majority of women 
perform socially necessary labor of reproducing and caring for children, and 
taking care of home and mate. The work of women holds up half the sky, A 
synthesis of women's household work and her work in the productive 
process is demanded by these conditions and has yet to be fully achieved. 

The concept of a giant, inclusive "middle-class" as applied to 
salaried and wage workers who must work to live is essentially a status 
category, broadly representing income differences, not a true class. Granting 
higher status has been a major tactic of social control, raised to an 
ideological weapon to mute conflicting class interests by making the 
affluence of a few the aspirations of many. In fact, the true middle class is 
more and more an insignificant segment of the population. 

The great mass of the white collar workers, clericals, service people, 
teachers and professionals are underpaid, exploited and profoundly bored by 
the daily dullness of their routines. They comprise the majority of the US 
work force at home. They cling to the image of respectability that once 
separated the old middle class from the mass of blue collar workers. Their 
consciousness must be changed. The interpenetration of women's 
consciousness, youth consciousness, and Third World national identity are 
great channels through which their class consciousness —as workers opposing 
their class enemy— can be irrigated and made fertile. 

As imperialist crisis deepens, the entire fabric of social control is 
tightened and becomes more severe. 

Law-arid-order and the propaganda barrage to instill capitalist 
values all intensify. The cultural crisis created, however, spills out in 
rebellion, in resistance to alienating work, and in revolution. Revolutionary 
constituencies will form along lines of cultural cohesion as well as along class 
lines. Cultural identity can be an important element in the process of 
revolutionizing mass groupings. This has been seen in national liberation 
movements, and also to some degree in the women's movement and the 
youth movement. 

There are broad social movements developing and growing in the 
US. We have experienced, in the last decade, a tremendous upsurge of 
anti-imperialist consciousness and a severe breakdown of the established 
institutions of power and cultural control. .All of this affects the 
consciousness and social/political direction of the working class and provides 
important new openings for revolutionary organizing. 



Black and other Third World people inside the US make up 
oppressed nations, subjugated peoples. The oppression of Third World 
peoples takes many of the same forms as the imperialist control of people in 
colonies in Africa, Asia or Latin America. 


The Black nation in the US is huge —the second largest Black 
nation in the world. It is a nation formed out of distinct common history. 
The Black revolution is rooted in the cultural identity, common oppression 
and resistance which synthesizes two realities: the African who was stolen to 
this country, and the slave and descendents of slaves who built it. 

The struggles of Black people in this generation have shaken racist 
power and culture to the heart of the empire, because the colonized status of 
Black and Third World peoples inside the heartland of imperialism is the 
foundation of the economy and cultural structure of the US. 

The Black struggle for self-determination is the strategic leading 
force of the US revolution, forged from a centuries-long tradition of 
resistance and revolt in the face of counterattack by the club, the cattle 
prod, the gun and the lynch rope. 

From the clandestine organizations of the earliest slavery days, 
through mass uprisings, the open carrying of self-defense weapons, to 
guerrilla combat, the Black movement has historically raised the level of the 
whole struggle. 

The state has imposed the necessity, liberation movements in other 
countries have helped point the direction. By fighting for control over their 
communities, schools, jobs and their future as a people, Black people also 
push forward the overthrow of the existing power relations in the entire 

Like any movement, the Black struggle grows by qualitative leaps 
and thru periods of building and regrouping of forces. Organized struggles in 
local areas and the ongoing day-to-day battles of Black people are often not 
as visible as the actions and rebellions of a high-tide period. But they are 
urgent and necessary in the development of a people's movement. The 
Black movement today embraces the bursti rig-forth of revolutionary Black 
art and literature, the battles for land and political power in the rural South, 
consistent organized support for African liberation, the ever-increasing 
organization and militancy of Black women, ideological debate and study. 
Black political conventions in Gary and Little Rock have attempted to 
develop unifying strategies and direction; Black prisoners have opened a 
determined front behind the bars; armed struggle against police power has 
continued in the cities, Always the Black movement persists, finding new 
forms to meet new conditions and new hardships —tenacious in the people's 
fight for liberation. 



They call us bandits, yet every lime mos! Black people pick 
up our paychecks we are being robbed. Every iime we walk 
into a store in our neighborhood we are being held up. And 
every lime we pay our rent the landlord sticks a gun into our 

Assata Shakur (Joanne Oiesimard) 

Racism is a weapon at the command of tin; ruling class, deliberately 
fashioned into a culturally sanctioned inslitui ion, written into law, and 
enforced by all the power of conscious custom and the state. 

Ail primary national institutions corporation, government, social 
services and organized labor are under 1 00/t effective white oppressive 
control. Black peopie as a group do not control their schools, their jobs or 
national policy. Despite all the state's propaganda, Black people have not 
been "incorporated" into the upper, or even middle, level* of the IS social 

In fact, the conditions of life for ninny Rbek people have worsened 
over the iast ten years. During the Jasi decade, the differential between the 
wages of Black and white workers has increased, segregation in the schools 
has increased, drug addiction has become an epidemic. The annual sales of 
General Motors - S30 billion equals the purchasing power of the entire 
Black population. 

Institutionalized racism is mainlined and perpetuated over the 
generations by the schools, the unemployment e\clc, the drug trade, 
immigration laws, birth control, the army, the prisons. 

Black and Mexican and Puerto Rican and Asian labor has been 
essential in building this country. The labor of Third World people cleans the 
streets, the floors, hauls the heavy loads, cooks the food. 

Last hired, first fired, the inicmp.loym.ent rate among Black people 

in the cities is four times that of whites and the unemployment among Black 
youth is now expected to exceed 30%. The high rate of Black 
unemployment reduces i})e effects of depression cycles on the rest of the 
population arid encourages competition instead of solidarity. 

As an example of [his relationship; General Motors announced on 
January 2, 197'1, that about 1500 workers- would be laid off at its Linden, 
New Jersey plant because of ihe "energy e r i -• ; s . ' " The layoffs were pari of a 
total of over 86,000 GM workers laid off :a. H:it imie nuiioo-w'de. Lnion 
officials said that 60% of the worker;- beiny; hi;\ off indefinitely at Linden 
were Black people, Puerto Kicans and women Skilled workers, mostly 
white, were shoved back onto [lie assembly lines. 

Third World women arc the lowest paid and in [he ie;ist. skilled jobs 
in the country. Black women make up half the houscho^ workers —in other 
people's bouses. They suffer the triple jeopardy of -ex, race- and poverty. 
Black women cam less than half of what white men earn: they are 
confronted by an infant and maternal rnor'aiiiy vale winch is twice that 
among There is no low-cost, daycare, doc to eui backs in welfare and 
health programs. 


The city is becoming Third World territory. Third World people are 
a majority in 50 of the largest cities. Where they are a large minority (New 
York, Chicago, Houston. Detroit), the public school populations are often 
more than 50% Third World. Much of the white population has moved to 
outer areas and to the suburbs. The cities do not represent, govern, serve, 
educate or support their population. 

An army of occupation prowls the streets of Black communities. 
Sometimes, they patrol in the name of the welfare of the community. But 
last year, half the murders of civilians by police —including several eiiildren— 
were Black neople. In New York City alone, 53 Black people were shot and 
killed by police in 1973. From 1968-1972, there were over 100 "legal" 
murders oi Black revolutionaries in the US. 

The Black community has paid a tremendous price in the loss of 
leaders like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Medgar Evers, Free! Hampton, 
Jonathan and George Jackson, Bobby Hutton, Zayd Shakur. 

Black people are more likely to get arrested, to get long prison 
sentences, to be refused parole, to be beaten and killed. The rulers are setting 
up a unified fascist infrastructure with identity cards, federal training and 
arming of police forces. Academic apologists preaching biological inferiority, 
such as William Shockly, fabricate the justifications for forced sterilization 
of Third World women. 

These are attacks on a people as a whole. The heroin epidemic, a 
countenusurgency weapon and product of the high profits of the 
mn:rnalio(ial drug trade, is a form of genocide against a whole generation of 
Black youth. In the name of a cure, methadone is replacing heroin but serves 
the same purpose when controlled by the state —debilitation thru addiction 
with the added benefit of increased control. 

A measure of the genocidal cost to Black people of imperialist rule 
is their life expectancy, today fully ten years less than whites. That means 
that nearly 300 million years of life are being stolen from Black people in 
the US today. 

The courts are machines for administering the penalties of .vhite 
rulers to Black victims. The prisons are living tombs. They function as a 
major institution of economic and political control over the Black nation 
—the rnling-class safety valve for the rebels, for the alienated. Prison acts as a 
control or. the. critical mass on the streets, out of work, angry. There are 
more Black men in prison than in colleges. Behavior modification techniques 
are now in wide-spread use in the prisons as an attempted "final solution" to 
the "problem" of rebellion and righteous anger. 

You will find no class or category more aware, more 
embiUered, desperate or dedicated to the ultimate remedy 
—revolution. The most dedicated, the best of our kind 
—you'll find them in the Folsoms, San Quentins and 

George Jackson 


I n.dfr conditions of ma\irmun rep ression Black 
prisoners have managed !o create an important center of 
resistance. They are orjinnjzHi£. studviug, leaching each 
other, and a number of white prisoners who have joined with 
them, the politic? and skills of revolution. The prison struggle 
is a microcosm of the revolutionary process, combining 
evmed resistance, mass rebellion, political education 
collective?, cultural workshops, prison union-, dav-to-clay 
resistance. Since the liberal iun of Attic.u in September. I «-.» T 1 . 
hundreds of prisons around the country have been held under 
seige by prisoners. The prison movement, the fruit of terrible 
material conditions and torture, has produced ;>, heroic 
resistance and ha:s given birth to many great leaders. 

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Black Culture, Black Power 

This is the era of national liberation. Black people recognized this 
early and identified v/ith it: MalcuJm X named US imperialism as the 
"common enemy"; Black people welcomed Fidel to Uarlcm in 1961; the 
Black movement was tin- fii-st in this country to chaliege Israel's right to 
Palestine: SNCC organized early resistance against the draft and in solidarity 
with the Vietnamese; Martin bather King shook the country with his 
denunciation of the [IS war in. Vietnam: Muhammed Ah was another teacher 
in his principled. resistance to the cr'.-.ft. 

A grassroots movemetd o! ::dfura! pride and national unity began to 
reclaim Fslack history, to cneoiiv; .■■;.:-. collective consciousness and solidarity. 
The slogan and feeling that "Black is Beautiful" arose everywhere among 
Black people. The oppressor society has waged war against Black culture by 


commercialization, by trying to subvert it, by encouraging the form and 
repressing the substance. But a people's culture persists and takes newforms; 
Black cultural identity has drawn new strength from the progress and 
determination of liberation movements in Africa. In 1973, over 150,000 
Black people marched in support of their sisters and brothers on African 
Liberation Day. 

The political form of the national movement became the demand 

for Black Power. 

Black Power is a revolutionary demand, a demand for freedom and 
self-determination. It has meant struggle for control of community 
institutions like the schools, hospitals, daycare centers, and demands for land 
and political power in the cities. It has taken the form of spontaneous mass 
rebellion and armed organization. The demand for Black Power has not been 

Each battle for power is a process of relentless struggle and 
mobilization. Black parents in Ocean Hill- Brownsville have been fighting for 
community control of their schools for over five years. The United Black 
Workers at the Mahwah, New Jersey Ford Motor Plant have led wildcat 
strikes against the company and have done painstaking organizing since 1968 
in their battle against white supremacy in the UAW. This kind of persistent 
work and sacrifice is the essence of the continuing struggle for Black Power 
and liberation. 

Support for Self -Determination 

Black and Third World people's right to determine the direction of 
their struggle is undeniable. Self-determination means the right of an 
oppressed people to seize an 1 organize their future and the future of their 

We support Black and Third World people's right to 
self-determination, including the right to secession. There is nothing sacred 
and certainly nothing historically just about the present fifty-state 
government or the present boundaries of the US. 

To argue, as some do, that Black liberation must wait upon the 
industrial proletariat or the socialist revolution of the whole US, is both false 
and racist. In practice, this position demands that Black people wait, that 
they follow an op press or -nation timetable for liberation. It ignores the fact 
that empires get broken down m different ways; by wars and occupation, by 
revolt of external and internal colonies, by disintegration and internal rot 
and combinations of all these. 

Whatever decisions Black people and other oppressed peoples make 
in exercising this right to self-determination, white revolutionaries and 
anti-imperialists have a very clear-cut responsibility to support these 
decisions once they arc arrived at. This doesnotmean to support only those 
choices one approves of, nor only those that can be worked out by reforms 
within the existing form of the US —"one nation, under god, indivisible." 
Support for the right to self-determination is a principle and a 
prerequisite to successful revolutionary movement in the oppressor nation. 



Native Americans have renewed their long history of resistance with 
a power, militancy and determination which is an example for all struggles. 
The Indian struggle is a cultural resurgence which involves the whole people 
as w r eU as a political fight for dignity and survival. The heroic occupation of 
Wounded Knee was part of a fabric of audacious action which has shaken the 
country in recent years; the Native American take-over of Alcatraz Island, 
the fight of the Pit River Indians in California to keep their land, the 
Nisqually and Puyallup struggles in Washington State for their fishing rights, 
the whole series of meetings, gatherings and protest called the Trail of 
Broken Treaties, which led to the occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs 
headquarters in Washington, D.C. in 1972. 

Native Americans have survived all attempts at cultural, economic 
and political genocide. They have made it clear that their battle continues 
here and now and they have shattered the white-man's myth that Indian 
culture and resistance died with the 1^90 Wounded Knee massacre. 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is a chief enemy of Indian people, a 
colonial administration which determines the lives of Native Americans. The 
BIA runs all Native American schools; all elected tribal leaders must be 
approved by the Interior Department or the BIA; the BIA must sanction any 
Indian land sales, leases or wills: the BIA officials argue in favor of corporate 
land-grabs on the spurious grounds that the sales revenues will bring the 
tribes prosperity. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is an agency which serves the 
interests of the US rulers —its aim is to administer the continued rip-off of 
Indian land and resources. 

The BIA has made it policy to refuse aid to the hundreds of 
thousands of Indians who have left the reservations and settled in the urban 
centers. The American Indian Movement (AIM) was born out of the struggles 
of these urban Indians against police brutality and impossible living 

Conditions on Native American reservations are a further 
indictment of this system: life expectancy is 43 years, infant mortality runs 
three times as high as the rest of the US, one-half of all Indian students never 
graduate from the poorly-serviced, rundown, racist BIA school system. BIA 
schools don't leach Native American languages, and vilify the heritage and 
culture of Indian people. Reclaiming [he Native American past is one of the 
basic elements of the Indian struggle today. 

The destruction and theft of Native American land has continued. 
Northern Cheyenne and Crow people in Montana are faced with the plans of 
major coal companies like Peabody to stripmine their territory and build a 
massive industrial complex. Lumber companies on the West Coast have 
bought hundreds of thousands of acres of Indian land in the last few years 
—purchases arranged thru the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Many of the resource 
exploitation projects underway in the Canadian north, like the huge James 
Bay hydroelectric project in Quebec, are being developed on land which still 
belongs to Indian and Eskimo people. Ecological devastation, accompanied 
by loss of community and an inability to maintain tribal ways, are the results 
of these land grabs by major corporations and governments. The fight to save 
their land and their eight to use it, remains a fundamental part of the lives of 
Native Americans. 


One of the most important current Indian battles surrounds the US 
prosecution of Ehe Wounded Knee liberators. Over 300 defendants, including 
the leadership of AIM, arc being charged with felonies. Trials are taking place 
throughout South Dakota and in Minnesota. A major political point at the 
trial, as at the Wounded Knee occupation, is that the government has broken 
the 1868 Treaty with the Oglaia people. The Oglalas rightfully demand that 
this treaty, which proclaims their sovereignty as a people, be respected and 
upheld. Support the W r ounded Knee freedom-fighters. 


The Chicano movement grows out of the struggle of ten million 
oppressed people who live inside the US, mostly in the Southwest, just as 
the Black nation has been denied its true history, official history has tried to 
deny the real accomplishments and irrepressible resistance of the Chicano 

What's called the "Southwest of the US" is in reality "El Norte", 
the vast borderland of Mexico robbed in the Mexican-American War of 1848. 
The Mexican people, La Raza. are an Indo-hispano people (mestizo). They 
have strong Indian roots reaching to the original inhabitants of the Americas, 
Legend has it that the Aztecs originated in this region, called Aztlan —the 
spiritual homeland of La Raza. 

The struggle to reclaim Chicano land was dramatically renewed in 
1967 by the Land Grant Movement in New Mexico. The attack on the Tierra 
Amarilla Courthouse in June, 1967, was a guerrilla attack against a domestic 
agency of colonialism. For many Anglos, this raid produced the first real 
consciousness of the Chicano people's historical and legal claim to the land 
of the Southwest. 

This Anglo -occupied territory has been developed largely thru the 
slave-like exploitation of Mexican labor. Chicanos are forced into the most 
arduous and hazardous jobs at low wages but are fighting back. The 
dedicated struggle by the farmworkers to win union recognition is now 
threatened by the alliance between the Teamsters Union and the growers 
—carried out with violent attacks and sweetheart contracts. This move is a 
major attempt to defeat the UFWU and break its popular base. Chicana 
women have just won a hard fought two-year strike for union recognition 
against the Farah Clothing Company in Southern Texas, 

Hundreds of thousands of Mexican citizens enter the US illegally 
every year. They are hired for agricultural, industrial and service jobs at 
wages often below the US minimum wage, without access to social services 
and welfare. Employers try to use immigrant workers to depress wages and 
break strikes of Chicano workers. The conditions that cause this immigration 
are a result of US domination of Mexico's economy; US companies inside 
Mexico pay workers S2 to $3 a day, reap up to 60% profit on investments, 
leaving Mexico "underdeveloped". Unemployment in Mexico, by some 
estimates, is up to 48%, Resistance to US imperialism in Mexico has 
intensified greatly in the past year —including a guerrilla kidnapping of the 
US Consul in Guadalajara, bombings of large US corporations in Mexico, 
destruction of unsafe farm labor buses in Mexicali. 

Inside the US, the Mexican immigrant workers are treated with 


racism and brutality. They suffer unsafe bus transport with frequent 
accidents and death, phony imprisonment resulting in coerced labor, and 
periodic attacks and roundup* by the US Immigration and Naturalization 

These roundups of "illegal" immigrants are a form of police terror 
against the entire Chicano community. For example, in the summer of 1973, 
11.000 people were rounded-up within the Los Angeles area and deported. 
There is no judicial process for "aliens'* and in the barrio, brown skin is 
"probable cause*' for harassment and arrest. There were widespread 
community protests and demonstrations against these fascist measures. 

The police occupy the barrio. In addition to general harassment, 
they attempt to terrorize the people with periodic murders of unarmed 
Chicanos. A related strategy for destruction is police-protected importation 
of drugs into the barrio. In response to police terror, there have been 
militant mobilizations of the people —youth organizations, community 
support for police victims, concerted efforts to drive drug pushers out of the 
community. In 1970 and 1971, an underground Chicano group in Los 
Angeles carried out a series of guerrilla bombings against school, police and 
corporate targets. 

The oppressor systematically attacks the culture, language and 
history of the Chicano people. The concern for a truthful Chicano education 
for the children is a center of the struggle. There have been militant high 
school rebellions in Denver, Chicano school walkouts in L.A., fights for 
bilingual education and for Chicano history and culture throughout the 
Southwest. Pride in La Raza is strong, Chicano art and poetry are flourishing 
in the barrio. 

At the height of the Vietnam War, Chicanos were hit by 
disproportionately high draft calls and casualty rates —coerced to fight 
against sisters and brothers in Vietnam. Resistance was high. The Chicano 
Moratorium became the leading anti-war force in Los Angeles. Their August, 
1970 demonstration drew 50,000 people who fought back militantly when 
the police attacked and killed three Chicanos. 

The oppression of Chicanos is deep and their resistance is extensive. 
Anglos have borrowed and benefitted from Chicano culture, skills, labor and 
struggles. The liberation struggle of La Raza is critical to creating a humane 
society in the US. We have a responsibility and a human need to learn about 
and actively support the Chicano struggle for self-determination. 



The women's movement is rooted in the common oppression of 
women. It is built on women's continuous resistance to sexism and is the 
granddaughter of the organized struggles of women 120 years ago. It is a 
popularly-based movement, imbued with a unique spirit and the fierce 
beauty of masses of women actively claiming our power and our futures. It 
contains the pow r er to transform and become a leading force in our 


The subjugation of women is intrinsic to imperialism. Male 
supremacy is given concrete form in the family, in the w r ork force, in the 
social institutions. Sexism is perpetuated and enforced by the culture and 
ideology of imperial society. So basic is the oppression of women to the 
functioning of this system that while many women can improve their 
circumstances within the system, we cannot win full collective liberation 
without overturning the entire structure of imperialism. 

Home and Family 

The modern male-run nuclear family, w r hen we tear away the veil of 
sentimentality, is the basic unit of capitalist society. Capitalism and the 
modern family matured together historically, feeding each other's 
development. In the family, women both reproduce the labor force and 
begin the socialization process of the new generation, which is essential to 
the productive system and the functioning of society. Women bear the major 
responsibility for the nurturing, health and education of families. These are 
treated like personal problems, yet they are necessary tasks, fulfilled at 
minimal cost and effort to the imperialists, 

Housework is hard work, done atone, but it is denied any social 
value and it is not paid for in any formal way. 

It is paid in barter: consumer comfort, a sense of economic 
security, status. 

The individual capitalist family structure is a wasteful social form, 
not healthy for children to grow up in, a trap for women, It is a sanctioned 
form for sexual exploitation and a hypocritical double standard. The family 
breeds competitiveness among us, allows no future to women with grown 
children, and demeans old women, separating them from the life of the 

Yet in a hostile, competitive society such as this one, the family is 
for many Third World and poor people the only center of community, of 
collective survival, a refuge. Until other forms can grow r and develop, the 
family will remain necessary as well as intolerable. There are many families, 
an increasing number, headed by women. The ability of single mothers to 
work and raise and care for children and maintain a household is a 
monument to women's strength and determination. 


Women work both inside and outside the home. Having so many 
unemployed and underemployed women as a reserve of labor is a necessity 
to modern monopoly capital. Women are available to be exploited in case of 
war or some other change in the economic situation. Women are a 
comparatively skilled group, but because of the myth that most women who 
work are "secondary breadwinners" we work for lower pay and are neither 
organized nor trained. 

Over 40%, of the work force is women, and over 40% of women 
work. Women work mainly in service trades and clerical work, and those of 
us who work in production work mostly in semi-skilled jobs in textile, 
garment and culinary trades —the traditional work of women. Although 
getting out of the homes gives women a place of socialized contact and 
some independence, it also compounds our oppression. Women's pay 
averages three-fifths that of men. Of the 34 million women in the work 
force, little more than four million are members of unions. Women workers 
who are organized are mostly in unions notorious for white male control, 
There are no maternity-leave benefits and no daycare facilities. The lowest 
paid workers in US society are Black and Third World women. 

Government Policies 

Women are oppressed and controlled by government agencies and 
are the immediate victims of economic crisis. The Department of Health, 
Education and Welfare (HEW), for example, directly affects the lives of 
millions of women and their families. HEW is the largest domestic arm of the 
government, comparable in size and function only to the Defense 

HEW is a classic institution of male supremacy, built on the 
oppression of women, children and old people. It is typical of the male 
monopoly of power: Caspar Weinberger, known as Cap-the-Knife for his 
budget cuts, makes $60,000 a year as head of HEW. He is a Nixon-man and a 

The brunt of HEW policies falls on women. Rockefeller and Reagan 
have been running model HEW programs to force as many people off welfare 
as possible, especially AFDC. Welfare amounts to government enforced 
malnutrition: people are maintained below subsistence. Today 45% of all 
city families headed by women live in poverty —by official standards that 
means improperly nourished. Five million women in the US are medically 
indigent, face undiagnosed and untreated illness. Threatened with losing the 
few crumbs of welfare, women are coerced, for economic and racist reasons, 
into sterilization programs. Last year, HEW financed between 100.000 and 
200,000 sterilizations through medicaid and special family planning clinics. 
If you are Black or poor or old or a women who is a head of a household, 
you are directlv affected by HEW programs. They control your money and 
rob you of your dignity and your privacy as a condition of aid. 

In certain ways, HEW is to poor women like the Bureau of Indian 
Affairs is to Native American people, It claims to be the giver of life's 
necessities —but under the guise of providing social services, it functions to 
control and contain us,as a safety valve against crisis and revolt. HEW r is really 
the Department of Illness, Ignorance and Wretchedness. 


The Culture of eiexlsm 

Sexism is enforced and perpetuated by ihc imperial c;nii.ujrc-. Prom 
r'.h, v ^nifi'i arc tai.:ght to think of ourselves as weak in bod\ and mind, 
;.ssi\c, second-rate, dependent objects. The organizaficm of society teaches 
ml reinforces the inferiority or' women, schools we are channeled and 
seated to prepare i'rjr marriage and sex-segregated iuhs. denied a '"nl! 
nroTntiom Later these same schools blame mothers far jd ! t ''failure" of 
■i.Ue - en : :u h"am to read. The media portrays women as eimawdieaded, sexy 
;.■:■ addo^ed consumers. Older -a omen are shunted asioas coped, ridiculed 

-out on irom useiUM%or.K ann e^ati 
ianghi: that our b'lolofrv is onr ale-tin 

w:tlnn narro 

v. confines in i idi'ili c. 

are conditioned to 

a;!"V ;'()(■: as SCXUal 

r.S and renrortneers. Distorted and comer: iiive standard.- of beauty arc 

over a svstem ol se\na; onirdhiea tie::. \\ 

;ve ;n an 

o iada cnTurc. where women arc demed eonu o! of our bodies where 
\ J,-' repression and faheos ^o hand ;o ban;: ivul prosi'dution and sex.ual 
■ipioitfiiioii.. aleu arc taught to use women. 

■ die underside of this ohjeefifiaahuj] is rape -a massive, brutal 
stem of -error oeroeba led on women b-~ mm, ilosi' rases are: nor rrnorted 

! L ■ . 

the statistics are far lower than the roaliiy, bui athmks on women 
msfiinte the fastest prowiiiig category of crime, in the 1 :;■. 'i h.e paralyzing 
■"r of rape and sexual abuse, fanned bv media and pou-e v, amines, adds up 
an i.;nofiK;ial curfew for women. 

The oppression of women pervar's the -id/nod value:' of the whole 
ana'.y. "mm are alienated from children and from herein emotion. Women 
e L.oi otf from one another, threatened and competing, dexism is a form of 
: lion M ecnriiiioiiina which enables the -rcstem to e\nioi: even- one. 


has reaehed into e 

i re women'? movement nas r 
potential and chailcjadrie; ou 



m, awakening 
ievemeuts are 


Reclaiming our heritage. Women are reconstructing the buried truth 
about women, weaving together the real history of women's contributions, 
rebellions and defeats. We are tearing apart the lies of docility and placing 
ourselves back in history. Unearthing knowledge of the past has led to a 
rediscovery of witches and warriors, abolitionists and artists, ancient myths 
and common women, labor organizers and healers. 

Breaking the chains of self -hatred, self-denial, and despair. 
Feminism entered women's lives like a whirlwind and a blessing. It tlirew 
lives into turmoil, marriages burst apart, long suppressed anger erupted in 
painful everyday confrontations with sexism. Women's consciousness was 
seized as the last hope for sanity. We took up the fight to define ourselves. 
We are giving birth to ourselves. 

Women liking women. Women have found one another and that has 
made the biggest difference of all. We begin to learn from and teach each 
other, to build on the commonality of our experience. Sisterhood does 
not always come easily and we learn to fight for it. 

Relations based on power preclude the realization of affection and 
intimacy; they drain our strength and are fought on uneven terms. Mutual 
and expressive sexuality is part of the human potential for liberation. This 
has become a striving and a strength of the women's movement, in 
relation ships between women and men, and in relationships between women. 

Lesbianism has hven an affirmation of unity and a challenge to the 

partnership of sexuality and domination. Women have opposed the 

dominant culture's treatment of homosexuals —people who are harassed and 

assaulted, denied employment and housing, raped and even murdered 

because they don't conform to standard sexual roles and morality. Net ail 

gay culture transcends the sexism of US life, but the independence of lesbian 

sisters and the attempts of gay people to live according to their own 

definitions represent an attack on sexist ideology which subjugates women. 

We support the right of di people to live according to their sexual 

preferences without discrimination or fear of reprisals. 

Women's Culture 

Women have traditionally been the guardians and transmitters of 

culture, and women's liberation has loosened an explosion of writing, music 

and art for, by and about women. Women's culture reflects and pulls 

forward our collective aspirations. The creation of women's alternative 

institutions —anti-sexist and pro-women— includes health clinics, daycare 

centers, schools, newspapers^ communities. We are trying to raise children 

without sex stereotypes, with new values; learning new skills; trying to deal 

with the problems of mental health, aging and mutual survival. 

Institutional Sexism. Sexism is carried by and perpetuated by the 
culture and by individual men; these are often its most visible and blatant 
manifestations. But underlying sexist culture is the systematic 
institutionalization of male supremacy, The women's movement uncovered 
and began to oppose and attack the institutions which concretize sexism. 

Anti-sexist men. Sexism, which denies the humanity of women, 
destroys the humanity of men. Men, too, are underslanding that sexism 
makes them emotionally barren and culturally warped, In response ro the 
challenge of women, many men have begun to make a commitment to 
struggle against sexism, These allies are a victory of the women's movement, 


They are an indication of the potential for further alliances with those in 

struggle and with oppressed people everywhere. 


At this point, there is no widely -felt organized force of 
revolutionary women; this has yet to be defined and built. This force is 
necessary to realize the full potential of the uprising of women, to carry it 
forward, to embody and fight for the collective interests of women. 

We recognize the necessity of resisting and destroying the 
anti-women institutions of society. We recognize that sexism and imperialism 
are the enemy of all oppressed women, and that is our common ground. Our 
goal is the development of a feminism which genuinely determines, 
safeguards and defends the collective interests of women, and which points 
in the direction of revolution. We need to build a revolutionary feminism. 

Women are not isolated from the clashes and contradictions in US 
society. These are reflected in the contradictions holding back the 
development of a revolutionary woman's politics. Class privilege, racism, 
liberalism and anti-militancy, if not met head on, will militate against the 
development of revolutionary feminism and defeat the struggle for the full 
freedom of women. 

When the women's movement first began, its spontaneity and 
openness was a great strength. We now have to raise the political questions, 
struggle them out, and organize ourselves. Organization and leadership are 
major weapons of revolution. We cannot afford to give them away because 
of fear of elitism. Anti-elitism is destructive if its political content isn't 
left-wing. We need to study, to have ideological debate among women who 
work in many different facets of the struggle to create a new and 
comprehensive analysis of women in society and in revolution. 

Overcoming Class Privilege 

God almighty made women; 
the Rockefeller gang made ladies. 
—Mother Jones 

The women's movement grew up as a cross-class movement. The 
strength of this lies in our recognition of the commonality of women, 
exposing the shallowness of false middle-class consciousness, and making 
alliances widely against our real enemies. 

Ruling-class women who are committed to their class interests are 


clearly enemies. They sustain and take part in the oppression of women 
around the world. They are collaborators. Unless they renounee their 
privileges and join the struggle they will always be the enemy. 

Bourgeois feminism, in all its forms, has come to play a leading role 
in defining the voice of the women's movement. Bourgeois feminism 
—which is also feminism for white women- is the fight for individual 
solutions to the oppression of women, even though it may be cloaked in very 
radical language and the forms of liberation. Bourgeois feminism assumes 
that the advancement of individual women to positions of power in the 
society —on corporate boards of directors, for example- is somehow a 
victory for women as a group. But career-making for some women is a fight 
for privilege, and turns into a fight for the protection of that privilege from 
poor and Third World women underneath. Often the "freedom" of upper 
class women is based on having a Black women do her housework. 
Imperialism is an old master at encouraging the creation of a bought-off 
group to split, confuse and move against a people's movement. This is why 
the Ford Foundation, big industry, and the police forces and FBI are 
recruiting among women as well as investigating the women's movement. 

We can build the women's movement among poor and working 
women. The women's movement of the last five years has touched the 
consciousness of millions of women and raised the possibilities of seizing 
control over our lives, which is the first step into revolution. In this period of 
growing social and economic dislocation, women are at the intersection of 
the crises and will fight to survive. 

Opposing Racism 

In the past, I don't care how poor this white women was, in 
the South she still felt like she was more than us. In the 
North, I don't care how poor or rich this white women has 
been, she still felt like she was more than us. But coming to 
the realization of the thing, her freedom is shackled in chains 
to mine, and she realized for the first time that she is not free 
until I am free. 

Fannie Lou Harner 

There is a tradition of white women siding with Black and Third World 
people, and a tradition also of turning against them. Women were the prime 
movers in the best work of Reconstruction, but in the betrayal and 
counterrevolution that followed, middle-class white women withdrew from 
full solidarity with the Black struggle and contributed to the overthrow and 
defeat of the Reconstruction movement. While Black men were lynched for 
even looking at a white woman, the rape of Black women by white men was 
institutionalized over hundreds of years. White women, raised on a pedestal, 
were dehumanized and desexed: we were used and eomplicit, as well as 
victims. These are historical realities which stand behind our dilemmas 

The colonized status of Third World women is enforced by society 
on every level, even the level of self -conception. One of the most cynically 


destructive attacks is the infamous Moynihan Report, issued in 1965 for 
LBj's Great Society, This doctrine says that the Black family is pathological 
(sick) because of the strength of Black women; that Black women are 
responsible for the position of Biack men in society. These theories try to 
divide the Black community against itself and breed self -hatred among Black 
women. They have influenced the popular consciousness of a generation and 
have been roundly denounced by Black women. 

Third World women are organizing, in school struggles, union 
struggles, welfare struggles -many in a national liberation context. Many 
Third World women define their enemy as imperialism. They lead in welfare 
and prison movements. They have much to teach us about who our enemy 
is. international sisterhood, and how to strengthen a people to fight. 

Racism is used against women, a form of counterinsurgency to 
divide us. the velvet glove and iron fist. By exploiting our concern for our 
families, the state convinces many white women that our main enemy is 
Third World people. This is particularly powerful when our children are used 
as a weapon. Women's fears are created and manipulated; real fear of rape is 
turned into fear of Third World men by the press and the police; in truth, 
most white women victims of rape are raped by white men. 

Anti-sexist work is not necessarily anti-racist, or anti-imperialist. 
Some women argue that we always fought for other people, now women are 
fighting our own battles. Let us extend our sisterhood to the 100,000 
women in Thieu's prisons, to the women in Palestinian refugee camps, to the 
dispossessed women in Puerto Rico, and to the women in prison here. Let us 
encourage the women who work against the Indochina War. Let us not 
justify complacency in the name of women. 


Our movement will be self-defeating if we reject militancy as 
"male'' and "macho/ 1 This detracts from the resistance of our sisters in the 
past, denies the necessarily violent nature of the struggle, and is blind to the 
courage of the wars for national liberation being waged against the US. 
A eceptance of the status quo of imperialism means acceptance of 
unprecedented violence. 

There is a particular importance in women learning to fight. For us 
-much the same as for women who join liberation struggles in Third W r orld 
countries —actually confronting the enemy and fighting in demonstrations, 
acts of resistance or armed attacks is tearing off of the veil, a rejection of the 
passivity and acceptance for which we are bred. Women fighters are 
frightening apparitions to the enemy and examples for us. 

Women play a particular role in the armed struggle which guerrillas 
cannot well afford to ignore. Women are fierce fighters, out of our righteous 
anger at oppression; but we also have to work hard to learn necessary skills 
not naturally taught us. Women are careful fighters, and understand the need 
to rid our fighting of ego: we also cannot let this strength turn into 
conservatism. Women unite and center the revolutionary community, 
mobilize the comrades to fight. This necessarily involves grasping the tools of 
ideology and political struggle. 


Insurgent Institutions 

In building alternative institutions for women, we must not deceive 
ourselves into thinking that our clinics or schools have solved the problem of 
health care and education for the mass of women. We must be aware of who 
they serve and who they don't. Alternative institutions must also become 
insurgent bases for a fight against the mass social institutions, on behalf of 
women at the mercy of hospital emergency rooms, public housing, food 
stamp lines, and public schools. 

Without power, reforms can be turned into weapons against us. 
Reforms which were fought for every inch of the way —such as public 
schools, birth control, social security and trade unions— become their 
opposite in the hands of the ruling class. We must make sure our victories are 
not at the expense of our sisters. Women have fought for abortion reform, a 
tremendous victory, but we have to fight to exercise control over the 
burgeoning abortion business and find ways to make sure that poor women 
can take advantage of this victory. Women have struggled long for safe 
effective birth control, but we do not have control of our reproduction. Poor 
and Third World women are routinely used for medical experimentation and 
profit, subject to forced sterilization and unsafe "'family planning". We have 
the obligation to fight to stop the wholesale geuoeidal use of sterilization 
and population control against the women of bairn America. 

Tt is only the reforms which we have fought for that make our lives 
bearable; survival struggles around conditions of work, welfare, life, health 
can weaken the enemy, expose his tricks, and win something real for us all. 
Together these elements make up a good program of struggle. 

But imperialism will never, can never, free al! women. Sexism will 
not be destroyed until imperialism is overthrown. It is in the collective 
interests of women to do this and take full part in building a socialist 
revolution. We need power. Socialist revolution lays she foundation for the 
liberation of women and begins dismantling the tenacious institutions of 
sexism. The revolutionary movement, on its part, must embrace and support 
the rising of women. There must a solid and irrevocable commitment made 
to women's liberation. A revolution is not a moment in time. Old ideas 
reassert themselves and have to be fought against. Revolution is a continuing 



The revolutionary youth movement is a proud and beautiful thing. 
It has made a significant contribution to revolutionizing this society. The 
student movement engendered militancy and daring at an early stage of 
struggle and has greater promise still. 

Control of the cultural apparatus and value system is an essential 
aspect of securing the home base for a world empire. Therefore, struggles 
which expose, break-down and liberate people from this social structure are 
very important and form a front line of the cultural revolution. 

The cultural rebellion of youth has been a significant assault on the 
controls of empire. At its best it actively carried the people of the US into 
supporting the Vietnamese people's struggle for liberation and opposing the 
war, and it has provided an arena of struggle against racism where victories 
have been won. It produced a movement committed to communal and 
collective life-stvles. sexual liberation and anti-materialist values. 


The revolutionary youth movement grew out of the contradictions 
within the oppressor nation society. It grew up at a unique moment: the 
height of affluence. 

Modern US society, organized for the business of imperialism, is a 
place where young people face particular oppression. Schools, the family, 
the media all attempt to socialize us into a competitive, acquisitive, 
individualized system. The end result is intended to be competitive sexual 
roles, marriage, and alienating, humiliating work as functionaries for 

In US society, life is alienating. Sexuality is stripped of its 
expressive and loving qualities, and institutionalized in marriage, prostitution 
or pornography. Sexuality is denied its human content, and is offered for 
sale. Art, too, is a commodity, something to be bought and sold. So are 
games and sports —no longer human exercises for the fun and development 
of people, but big business, packaged and programmed. The alienation of life 
is an ongoing explosive condition of our times. 

Youth oppression is organized and institutionalized. Young people 
are channeled and coerced in schools; misled, miseducated, misused. Schools 
have become alien from the real process of learning about the world or how 
to use things. Schools are often huge minimum-security prisons where we are 
held and controlled for large parts of our lives. In schools we are taught to 
respect arbitrary authority, Lo follow orders, and to compete with sisters and 
brothers. The education industry plays the additional role of keeping huge 
numbers of young people out of the shrinking job market, thereby propping 
up the faltering system. Schools in many ways are the work places of youth. 

Youth are rebellious against meaningless work and face the 
problems of less skill and seniority, low pay scales, dirtier work. 
Unemployment and underemployment are massive among youth; young 
people are used as a reserve pool of low-skilled labor. 


Police, the courts, and prisons are increasingly geared to control of 
the young. Out of work, out of luck, we are more likely to be involved in 
minor crime. The prison population is increasingly a young population. 

A large segment of youth has rejected the traditional values of 
society and has struck off in search of a better way, a more fulfilling life, 
more humane and dignified social relations. Young people have become 
commited to collective work styles, to communities where work and life are 
integrated, where respect for community and culture and environment are 
priorities. We are learning to be open to other people's cultures and have 
borrowed from the music, stories and ways of other peoples to enrich our 

The youth movement did not materialize out of thin air but in 
response to imperialism. It united around and gathered momentum in the 
fight against the war in Vietnam. It declined when the troop withdrawals and 
the end of the draft removed the most compelling elements bringing young 
people into struggle. The killings at Jackson State and Kent State during the 
protests against the invasion of Cambodia scared many people who had never 
experienced the wrath of imperialism so directly. People were confronted 
with the ruthlessness and arbitrariness of repression. The culture produced a 
group of people, nomads, communal semi-hustlers, sharing a certain sense 
of being alien to and in opposition to the US imperial way of life. 

At the same time, this culture benefited from the affluence of 
empire, and in some part removed itself from engaging against the 
perpetrators of empire by escaping from the institutions of society. 

The cities are the front line in many ways, but the importance of 
work done in rural areas should not be underestimated. Potential exists for 
organizing among the rural poor. Unity can be built with Native Americans, 
Southern Blacks, Appalachians, the rural Chicano and poor white 
population, for the redress of the oldest and some of the crudest crimes of 

One edge of youth culture consisted of politically active people: 
organizers, embattled artists, people's musicians, free schoolers, mothers and 
fathers and children of communal families. What has happened to this large 
grouping of people as the fat of affluence has dissolved over the last three 


Some have become small business men, and have taken on the 
material characteristics of their parent's generation. But most have gone to 
work, or are on welfare, or are even maintaining a rural subsistance through 
small farming or crafts. Many live at the edge of getting by -women alone 
with small children, people eking out a living in groups. To the extent that 
communities survive among this group of people, they are real bases for 
organizers, not necessarily revolutionary, but open. This group of people 
constitutes a de classe sector —increasingly proletarianized— whose 
experience in political work or in organizing alternatives can be a valuable 
contribution to our movement. 

There are serious weaknesses in youth culture. It is imbued with 
the sexist values of the dominant culture that bore it. It mainly looks to 
male heroes for models. It has failed to genuinely meet women's needs or to 
make a wholehearted commitment to fighting sexism, 

Sometimes trying to build cultural alternatives has become a 
substitute for struggle, or has collapsed into hip capitalism. "Do your own 
thing" —at first an advocacy to add your own unique contribution to the 
community effort, has become a slogan for individualism, splitting apart, and 
undermining the solidarity that has been built. 

In many ways, the culture has withdrawn to rest on its privileges, 
dissociating from active opposition to racism and from active identification 
with Black and Third World people. A flippant attitude toward 
consciousness-expanding drugs is separated from the whole picture of 
deathly and pacifying drugs pumped into insurgent communities. The 
prohiems of heroin, methadone, alcohol and pills have not been dealt with. 
Although young people experience police oppression day-to-day, police 
power directed against Black and Third World people is not eombatted. 
Rarely do alternative institutions organize to meet the needs Gf the Black 
community, Third World children, the old. 

The best of the culture is realized through the process of struggle 
itself —this is what creates unity of opposition, builds anti-racism, breathes 
life into the sense of community and makes our communities insurgent. 

Revolutionaries must embrace the explosive content of the 
profound alienation young people experience in US society, and struggle 
with and change its accomodations to imperialism. It is our view that the 
youth movement is a force that has and will continue to affect the 
consciousness of the working-class and the society as a whole. We must 
approach the youth movement with a consciousness of the great 
contributions made by students, Gls and other young people in the 
anti-imperialist struggles of a decade. 


The army is one of the central oppressive institutions of youth. 
Young men are forced into the armed forces because of lack of education 




■;ii ploy me nt opportunities. Once in the army, we are faced with the 
:?•';. and most direct forms of discipline and class oppression. 

The rebellion in the armed forces comes from the same causes that 
Wd young Third World people and white youth to rebel in other 
iitions of US society. Gls have raised deep questions about the right of 
: to rule, of the armed forces to command, of the supposed right to 
i-c and kill women, children and men in Vietnam. The realities of 
'.ng such a vengeful yet totally unjust war as the war in Vietnam broke 
: riUiiiy institutional and cultural forms that have kept the armed forces 
he.: 1 as a so-called "proud fighting unit." 

There has been GI rebellion within the armed forces during every 
y.r of expansion, but the defeat of US forces in Vietnam combined with 
rowing Black rebellion at home accelerated the opposition into a full 

The justification for war grew thin: no one wanted to die in this 
■.Ve ^erased to fight and burned our draft cards, left the country, and 
Pirated against the war. Instead of going on patrol, many units would 
out a few hundred yards and sack out for ihe night A generalized 
'■\i'y;> from military discipline developed. Imperialism needs willing 
::-;. hui rewer and fewer could be found. 

mm za . w^ 

: j& 


The resistance and solidarity of Black Gls set ihe terms of the 
and galvanized others. In the racist army 5 Third World soldiers made 

of die combat casualties. Slogans of resistance developed: "No 
y ever called me nigger;" "Don't fight overseas for what you don't 


tacks on the brass, subversion of the rai'Sitary machinery, and 
i?-;tsitions spread among Gls. Or, occasion, whole units refused to 


i ^ 

-both in Vietnam and in the US at the Democratic National 


Convention in 1968. Thousands of young people who became the dedicated 
enemies of imperialism were trained in weaponry and combat. Veterans who 
came back to the US organized against the war and led a national campaign 
against war crimes. One of the most dramatic moments in the anti-war 
movement was in April 1971, when the Vietnam Veterans Against the War 
threw away their war medals at the White House. 

Veterans face chronic unemployment, inadequate medical 
treatment, unjust benefit payments and drug addiction at home. Vets are 
plagued by an oppressive discharge system which codes young men according 
to the recommendations of the ruling brass. This system creates a blacklist 
on the labor market against many returning veterans, especially those who 
didn't toe the line. 

The revolt in the army is anti -imperialist class struggle on the 
highest level, led by Third World GIs but with many white working-class 
people involved. This revolt involves cultural insubordination, political 
education, direct action and mass participation in armed resistance and 
sabotage. As a result we have arrived at a new political situation: the ruling 
class can no longer confidently depend on the armed forces to do the dirty 
work of empire in all parts of the world. 

The great injustice of this system is that it leaves its potential 
unrealized while maintaining scarcity for billions of people. 

US society is corrupted by the values that necessarily 
accompany piracy —racism, greed, competitiveness, brutality, 
sexism, callousness. The ruling class calls the backward, 
criminal aspects of culture into being and sets them into 
motion, The society is the rat-race, marked by an anti-social 
premium on individualism. There is a gtark poverty for 
masses of people materially and culturally, a poverty in the 
quality of life. 

As imperialist crisis deepens, the entire fabric of social 
control is tightened and becomes more severe. 

Third World peoples in the US, and also women, youth and 
members of the armed forces have shown the most consistent 
initiative and practice as measured by the decisive 
anti-imperialist struggle of this entire period: the war in 
Vietnam. These groups have been the carriers of proletarian 
internationalism for this time. 



This is a call to organize the people and to act. We must now apply 
our analysis to our particular situation, mobilize the masses and fight. Our 
goal for this period is to help build a mass anti-imperialist movement and to 
build the armed struggle, the guerrilla forces. Legal and clandestine struggle 
are both necessary: agitation and attack, peaceful methods and violent 
methods, sometimes organizing the people step-by-step, and sometimes 
taking a leap thru action to a new level. Mass work and armed struggle are 
united in revolution: each needs to support and affirm and complement the 
other. These are different fronts, interdependent and allied against the 
common enemy. 

Aboveground and underground, we face the same political 
questions: Who do we organize '! How do we bring our politics to life in 
practice ? How do we sustain the struggle ? 

Our enemy is US imperialism, the enemy of all humankind. Our 
goal is to attack imperialism's ability to exploit and wage war against all 
oppressed peoples. Our final goal is thecompletedestruction of imperialism, 
the seizure of the means of production and the building of socialism. To 
create the conditions in which we can take the offensive, destroy the old 
system and build a new life, we must weaken and at least partly destroy the 
empire. The weakest points of empire lie in its control of the colonics, and 
this is why Third World liberation is leading the struggle against imperialism. 

We need organization. Activists are searching for direction -some 
common ideas, strategy, and practice to unite around. It is frustrating and 
crippling to individual revolutionaries and groups to have no unified impact 
on history as it is being made. We all feel the need to work as part of a 
whole, larger than ourselves, to see our individual contributions add up to 
something meaningful. Organization unites, gives direction and breadth to 
particular political work. Activists and militants want to build something 
bigger, where activity leads to shared results, where masses of people can 
organize their strength. Anti- imperialist organization is what is needed. 


We believe that communist -minded organizers can take the 
initiative now and lead. Move from small to large. Practice and hard work, 
boldness and a willingness to intervene in every struggle, big or little. There is 
room for lots of creativity in application and choice of work. Go to the 
people. Organize and mobilize. Build the struggle. Head and study. Carry 
your books. There is no substitute for practice in determining the 
revolutionary path. Conditions arc developing more rapidly than is easily- 
realized. This is not yet a program; rather it is an ideological foundation and 
the tools for building agitational work, 


The US people entered the 70's weary of war, skeptical of 
government leaders, uncertain about the future. Masses of people have been 
torn away from imperial mythology, from the standard of male supremacy, 
from allegiance to the state. In search of more drastic solutions to the 
current social dislocations, people open to the possibility' of revolutionary 
consciousness. The 70's bring inflation, recession, unemployment, the 
chance of war, and crisis after crisis in the lives of millions here. We can 
foresee a time of food riots, unemployment councils, tenant's anti-eviction 
associations, neighborhood groups, anti-war organizations. The left must 
organize itself to understand the continuous crises of our time and mobilize 
the discontent into a force for freedom. 

Organize poor and working people. Go to the neighborhoods, the 
schools, the social institutions, the work places. Agitate. Create struggle. 
Link up the issues that describe the system. Tell the truth. 

We believe that radical teachers should work in schools in working 
class neighborhoods, in community or junior colleges. Radicalize other 
teachers, organize the parents, teach and encourage your students. Health 
workers can choose hospitals and clinics in poor communities. Cultural 
activists, street players, artists, writers should propagandize and relate to 
poor and working people. Community-controlled and counter -institutions 
should be made into insurgent bases. 

Organize among youth. Organize among women. Communists 
should play a big role in these movements, these popular upheavals which 
spawned us. This is our strength. Revolutionize existing projects and 
movements, analyze real situations, intervene with a revolutionary 
anti-imperialist perspective. 

Organize to survive. Support the people's right to food, adequate 
shelter and decent health care. Oppose HEW attacks on women and the 
poor. Fight to live. 

Impeach Nixon and jail him for his major crimes. He is one of the 
top criminals of the century, a warmaker, a lifetaker. His isolation and 
exposed condition is the mirror-image of US defeat in Vietnam. Nixon 
merits the people's justice. 

jr^^iitftr* ************ A rii 



There are a thousand threads of forward motion in the social 
explosion of our times. A thousand threads to untangle and engage. Find a 
way for everyone to fight the enemy. Unite the anti-imperialists. There are 
some politics that are necessary for successful activity: things to carry with 
us in our work. 


Revolutionaries are internationalists. Our job is to build 
international class consciousness, to make connections among people. A 
good program must synthesize —not separate- the struggles of Third World 
peoples with our own: to uneover the relationship between Watergate and 
the Vietnam War, to nourish our identification with the struggle of Cuban 
women rather than our distinctness, to find the commonality between the 
white worker and the unemployed Puerto Rican. A good program mobilizes 
and teaches. 

The rulers scapegoat Third World people for the failures of the 
system. They say: "The American people are being deprived of their right to 
oil by the Arabs;" "Welfare mothers, not the defense budget, are responsible 
for higher taxes;" "Chilean socialism stole our copper mines." We cannot 
allow the maintenance of a pacified sector of privileged workers here; rather 
we can find ways to identify our interests with the interests of all oppressed 
people everywhere and sharpen the class struggle. 

Liberal,anti- internationalist slogans have been put forth throughout 
the history of our movement: "You can only organize people around their 
own interest," "Don't fight other people's battles," "Support for Third 
World struggles is 'guilt' politics." These slogans encourage the belief that 
oppression is individual and must be fought by small groups distinct from 
and against other groups. These slogans assume that the individualism, 
narrowness and fear that are a major part of the socializing process here 
should be accepted by movement programs. They emphasize competition, a 
short-term sense of the struggle, and feed racism and all kinds of chauvinism. 
We think that organizers should oppose the liberal slogans with the 
communist slogan: "Fight US imperialism, the common enemy." 

How to move? 

—Oppose nuclear war and US threat of nuclear war. Defeat nuclear 

—Oppose imperialist war and aggression wherever it occurs. Oppose 
US armed intervention. Defend Indochina from future attacks. Get the US 
out of the Mideast. Independence for Puerto Rico 

—Also, watch for the quiet but sinister ways warfare is waged on 
sisters and brothers in the Third World. Expose and oppose AID programs, 
cultural and economic penetration, the multinational corporations, 
population control. Don't let them sneak around. 

—Oppose racism in practice. Racism is the main and most 
consistent weapon for holding back the revolutionary struggle. Skin color 
will be a brand to turn proletarians against one another until this brand is 
decisively rejected by white folks. The oppressed nation of Black people is 
the leading anti-imperialist force in our country. No doubt about it. History, 


continuity, mililancy —even in hard limes. Black and other Third World 
leadership hap, in recent years, been the most internationalist and the most 
militant. Racism cuts us up, cuts us off from this leadership. All vestiges of 
racist thinking or action among revolutionaries must be attacked in the most 
fortliright manner. No quarter can be given to racism in our relations with 
the people we are organizing, We must learn how to reject ami expose the 
racism without rejecting the person. Represent solidarity with Third World 
people whenever possible. 

-Win a base of support for prison struggles and oppose attacks by 
the state on Third World revolutionaries. The greater the resistance by the 
people, the more widespread and successful, the greater will be the 
repression from the state. We can prepare for future repression by planning 
the next stage of advance and attack. Today people are confronted by 
prisons, courts, military-injustice and racism, police brutality, spying on and 
controlling of civilian life, the terror of rape, discrimination, channeling and 
brainwashing. Does this constitute fascism or a threat of fascism? Again the 
main tiling is the distinction between oppressor and oppressed nations. Third 
World people have been living under fascist conditions for generations; at the 
same time, the majority population feels it has some democratic rights w r orth 
defending. These contradictory perceptions reveal something that is true: 
fascism in the oppressor nation is the application here of the colonial policies 
of empire. It is selective and partial. It has always been applied to Native 
Americans, Black people, Puerto Ricans, Chicanes, the oppressed generally as 
well as those who unite with the oppressed —radicals, reds. 

Fascism in this country is not a challenge to those in power by 
some more reactionary gang on the outside. Fascism is perpetrated on Third 
World people from the seats of power: the Pentagon, the Congress, the White 
House, the Supreme Court. In these places liberal and fascist tendencies 
compete, but they also connive and conspire. Our strategy must be unity 
against existing fascism for the liberation of all oppressed people. Imprisoned 
fighters face the brunt of fascist repression and are a center of our struggle. 
A solid bridge of communications, news, politics and support sustain sisters 
and brothers under brutal isolation and torture, makes a difference in the 
treatment of political prisoners and their chances of release. Connections 
maximize the impact of prison politics as an essential and leading part of our 
movement. Support Ruchcll Magee. Defend the Attica brothers. 

-Like Dr. Du Bois said, "The problem of the twentieth century is 
the problem of the color line.'" It's our view that white revolutionaries 
should look toward building principled alliances, coalitions and working 
relationships with Third World people when possible. Support for 
self-determination can't be an excuse for failure to engage with Third W r orld 
revolutionaries in day-to-day work, A new practice should develop in which we 
learn from, struggle with, but don't prejudge or attempt to direct Third World 
freedom fighters. Full understanding and support for self-determination is 
the basis for this kind of getting together. Win an understanding of the right 
of oppressed peoples to determine their own destinies. 

—Read Black and Third World publications. Understand the 
richness of the movements, the current debates, the direction and growth of 
struggles. Study .Malcolm and George Jackson. Learn from the great teachers. 



The women's movement has changed the consciousness of millions 
of women, and the crises of US society are creating resistance and 
revolutionaries among women every day. This is a good time to do a lot of 
organizing among women, to bring the full scope of anti-imperialist and 
revolutionary politics into women's lives. Storm the institutions which 
oppress women. Direct our force against the men who control these 

—Support Assata Shakur, Marilyn Buck, Lolita Lebron and other 
women in prisons. Demonstrate to free our sisters in the Saigon jails. 

—It is our view that women working in revolutionary organizations 
with men should organize themselves into women's groups, sections, 
brigades, caucuses to build our solidarity, to oppose sexism, to reach out, 
involve, organize among women and to strive together for the full liberation 
of women, 

—Sexism within the culture of the revolutionary movement denies 
the full contribution of women and distorts political direction. We need an 
anti-sexist revolution in this country to create the basis for a new society 
which genuinely empowers women. The revolution must be fought for 
women as well as by women. 

—Sexism manifests itself in relationships among people, and must 
be fought on this level too. Men must make a continuing commitment to 
understanding and changing sexist ways. Criticism and self-criticism are our 
tools for this struggle: fanshen, the turning over, transformation. 


A movement has no reason to exist if it doesn't fight. The system 
needs to be overthrown; revolutionaries must prepare for that necessity at all 
points along the way. Revolutionary movements must be contending for 
power, planning how to contend for power, or recovering from setbacks in 
contending for power. Certainly every movement must learn to fight 
correctly, sometimes retreating, sometimes advancing. But fighting the 
enemy must be its reason for being. We build a fighting movement. 


Militancy stirs the imagination arid raises the vision of victory. 
Militancy in a street demonstration, in a courtroom, in a rally, in a prison 
takeover, is recognized and respected as an uncompromising statement. It is 
a confrontation with the opposing system. Involving people in militant 
action trains and teaches. It is both an example and a strategy. Militant 
action is related to the understating that the struggle is not merely for 
separate issues but is ultimately for power —necessarily including armed 
struggle to defeat the oppressive forces of state. To leave people unprepared 
to fight the state is to seriously mislead about the inevitable nature of what 
lies ahead. 

Some on the left dissociate mass struggle from revolutionary 
violence and condemn any act of public militancy or armed struggle as 
adventurist. This is characteristic of oppressor-nation movements where 
violence is raised to a question of abstract principle, and the illusion is 
fostered that imperialism will decay peacefully: "Violence turns people off," 
"It's too early," "Violence only brings down repression." 

—The movement should argue for and explain armed action. 
develop parallel strategies, openly support the thrust and political content of 
revolutionary armed actions, claim and spread the message of struggle, help 
create the "sea" for the guerrillas to swim in. Don't talk to the FBI. Resist 
grand jury probes of revolutionary struggles. Laying the basis for armed 
struggle is also the responsibility of mass organizers, 

—From the very beginning of guerrilla action, mass armed 
capability develops. Its spontaneity will be slowly transformed into the 
energy of a popular armed force. 

-Many levels of clandestine propaganda action can be carried out 
which spread the consciousness of action and give people a way to learn. 
Spray-painting, rip-offs of corporate files, blood on the murderers. We have 
done these types of action ourselves, including stinkbombing a Rockefeller 
appearance in N.Y.C. and doing the same to the mouthpieces of the Chile 
junta when they travelled in the US alter the murder of Allende. Build a 
people's militia, 

—A successful movement needs to keep part of its organization 
away from the eyes of the state. This should be part of the practice of every 
revolutionary. The survival and continuity of the revolutionary movement, 
of the activists and the supporters over a long period of time, depends on 
having networks and resources not exposed to computer patterns, electronic 
surveillance and infiltration of the repressive apparatus. The continued 
existence of underground organizations shows this can be done. 

—Building a capacity to survive over time is no substitute for 
militancy now in our daily work. An uncompromising, confrontational 
approach to political work is the best way to inspire the people, build 
organization, and learn to fight. 


^M -?* 






_ This is a deathly culture. It beats its children and discards its old 
people, imprisons its rebels and drinks itself to death. It breeds and educates 
us to be socially irresponsible, arrogant, ignorant and anti-political. We are 
the most tec hnologie ally advanced people in the world and the most 
politically and socially backward. 

The quality of life of a Chinese peasant is better than ours. The 
Chinese have free and adequate health care, a meaningful political education, 
productive work, a place to live, something to eat and each has a sense of her 
or himself as part of a whole people's shared historical purpose. We may eat 
more and have more access to gadgets, but we are constantly driven by 
competition, insecurity, uncertainty and fear. Work is wasteful and 
meaningless and other people are frightening and. hateful. This is no way to 

Anti-imperialism is our cultural revolution. We must rescue 
ourselves from the consequences of being the base area for imperialism -the 
base area for war, piracy, rape and murder. In this reclamation process, we 
come to a better understanding of our history and ourselves. This is not for a 
small group but for millions of people. Much has happened in the world and 
in the US to move this process along. Few people really believe anymore in 
the great civilizing leadership role of the US. Few still think that capitalism is 
the best of all possible ways to meet the economic needs of the world's 
peoples, or that Black and Third World people are sub-human labor material 
destined to support the more worthwhile activities of white supermen. Few 
really believe that men will go on indefinitely monopolizing power in a 
supremacist anti-women society. Stated simply, our strategy is to base 
ourselves on the trends of change, to revolutionize and push them on, and to 
intervene in everything. 

Where do the US people look to learn about social revolution and 
consciousness, struggle and purpose? A decade of resistance in Vietnam 
demonstrated to highly ''developed" Westerners that we have everything to 
learn from "underdeveloped" peoples, The revolutionary struggle is the 
social form from which will deal with the crisis of imperialism in decline. We 
learn from Third World people who resist US tyranny, with a unity born in a 
sense of collective power and purpose. We learn from our own history and 
examples of courage, struggle ant! communality which are here for us to 
search out and celebrate. 

Our movement must discard the baggage of the oppressor society 
and become new women and new men, as Che taught. All forms of racism, 
class prejudice, and male chauvinism must be torn out by the roots. For us, 
proletarianization means recognizing the urgency of revolution as the only 
solution to our own problems and the survival of all oppressed people. It 
means commitment, casting our lot with the collective interest and 
discarding the privileges of empire. It means recognizing that revolution is a 
lifetime of fighting and transformation , a risky business and ultimately a 
decisive struggle against the forces of death. 

Proletarianization is a process that is necessarily on-going. 
Breaking-thru to a higher levelof engagementand commitment in 1968 is no 
guarantee that the level will he sustained in 1974. Standing still over time is 
sliding back. Commitment and engagement must be continually renewed. 


We create the seeds of the new society in the struggle for the 
destruction of the empire. For our generation that has meant the birth of 
commurtalism and collective work in the most individualist, competitive 
society in the world. Revolution is the midwife bringing the new society into 
being from the old. 

The culture of our communities, the people we try to become, are 
forged in the process of revolutionary war —the struggle for liberation. We 
are called on to commit ourselves to this struggle, and time is pressing. 
People are already dying. Lives are wasted and worn. Life itself depends on 
our ability to deal a swift death blow to the monster. 

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These books have been a good part of the background and basis of study for 
writing this paper; 

Salvador Allende 

Imamu Amiri Baraka 
Harold Baron 
Raymond Barrio 
Black Liberation Army 
James Boggs 
Boyer and Moraid 
H. Rap Brown 
Wilfred Burchett 
Meyer Burning Bear 

Amilcar Cabral 

ToniCade, ed, 
Stokely Carmichael 
Fidel Castro 

Christopher Caudwell 
Sharon Curtin 


Ehrenreich and English 
Frederick Engels, 
Eleanor Leacock, ed. 

Franz Fanon 
Carlos Feliciano 
Elizabeth Gurley Flynn 
James Forman 

Eduardo Galea no 
JohnGerassi, ed. 
Vo Nguyen Giap 
Rudolfo Gonzalez 
Felix Greene 
Che Guevara 

Speech to the U.N., November 1972 

Raise Race Rays Raze 

Black Labor 

The Plum Plum Pickers 

Break de Chains 

Racism and the Class Struggle 

Labor's Untold Story 

Voices from the Plain of Jars 

Die Nigger Die 

Vietnam Will Win 

New Indian Resistance 

Return to the Source 

Revolution in Guine 

The Black Woman 

Stokely Speaks 

Fidel in Chile 

History will Absolve Me 

Studies in a Dying Culture 

Nobody Ever Died of Old Age 

Black Reconstruction 
John Brown 

Witches, Midwives and Healers 
Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State 

The Wretched of the Earth 
Carlos Feliciano 
Rebel Girl 
The Making of Black Revolutionaries 

Open Veins of Latin America 

The Coming of the New International 

The Military Art of Peoples War 

Yo Soy Joaquin 

The Enemy 

Message to the Tricontinental 


Lorraine Hansberry 

Ho Chi Minh 
Bernard Fall, ed. 

Indochina Peace Campaign 

George Jackson 
C.L.R.. James 

Kathy Kahn 
Aileen S. Kraditor 

Les Blancs 

History of the Vietnam Workers Party 

Prison Diary 
Ho Chi Minh on Revolution 

Women Under Torture 

Blood in My Eye 
The Atlantic Slave Trade 

Hillbilly Women 
Ideas of the Women's Suffrage Movement 

Latin American Council of Coordination statement 
V.I. Lenin 

Gerda Lerner, ed. 
Artredo Lopez 
Clayton Van Lydegraf 

Harry Magdoff 
Malcolm X 

Mao Tse-Tung 

Karl Marx 

MIR,Tupamaros, ERP 

and ELN. 


State and Revolution 

What is to be Done? 

Selected Works 

Black Women in White America 

Puerto Rican Papers 

Object is to Win and Movement and the Workers 

The Age of Imperialism 

Malcolm X Speaks 

Malcolm X on Afro-American History 

On Contradiction 

On Practice 

Selected Works 

Capital (section on primitive accumulation) 

Communist Manifesto 

Value, Price and Profit 

Selected Works 

The Political Economy of Population 

Control in Latin America 

Pre-Civil War Black Nationalism 

Letters from Attica 

Women's Estate 

Coming of Age in Mississippi 


The R ight of Revolution 

Look tor Me hi the Whirlwind 
The Way He Lived 

Mythology of Imperialism 
Insurste rtt Mexico 

Bonnie Mass 

William McAdoo 
Sam Melville 

Juliet Mitchell 

Anne Moody 

Jan Myrdal and Gun Kessle 

Truman Nelson 

Panther 21 
Pham Thi Quyen 

Jonah Raskin 
John Reed 

Report of the Chinese Communist Part} - to the 'i Oth Pariy Congress 
Sheila Rowbothan Women. Resistance and Revolution 

Mari Sandoz 

Crazy Horse 


Miriam Schneir, ed. 
Miriam and Walter Schneir 

Ruth Sidel 

Edgar Snow 

Stan Steiner 

Han Suyin 

Paul Sweezv and Harry Maedoff 

Feminism: the Essential Historical Wriv: 

Invitation to an Inm 

Women-and Child Care i:i H: 

The Long Rev<.>iL!i 

The Mornivis Oil 
Dynamics of CS i";u-itsi 

Studs Terkel 
Truong Chinh 
Fawaz Turki 

Eric William d 

On the Role and Tasks of the I. 'rdtcd 

Akwesasne Notes 
Black Scholar 
MER.IP Reports 
Monthly Review 
NACLA Reports 
Triple Jeopardy 
Vietnamese Studies 

The D;.?iri 
CapitaihiN ana 




;:, book" ^concerned wlih people and the conditions under which v/e hve ti; 
io<ed St;i{:es and Throuid:oui:ihe work!. The ideas ro Prairie Fire come iV^ro 
;ow effort to loans iYeno to bderpret, and to heip advance peoples' 
id --■;. A bonk "inch as (his can become aixrtber link m the chain ofjeanooto 
oupe arsd acthig more effectively for al! of us. 

'^-oHe The DiidrihulOH; Committee has beois formed to help sell and 

.'■o;;o vhisbook. in order lo help brine; l:'he contort of S.:his book to ibre as wo 

"■.': problems and the opportunities before l>s, we would ah;o hke in Ooke 

foroms, uving room discissions aod other i'onns of exeharnTnn, ideas omi 

-',; us, seoa 'Uft yowc iueas and requests. 

ore cosrs Sl.bO plus 25e lbs: niibhm 

Order from: 

PO Box 4 1 ! 

Tiioe^ Plaza Station 

BroohHo, N.Y. 1 ]/(' 

PO Box 406)4 
Station C. 
San Franeiseo. C'A. 
941 10